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Johnny Handsome [DVD]

5 customer reviews

Price: £4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker
  • Directors: Walter Hill
  • Writers: John Godey, Ken Friedman
  • Producers: Andrew G. Vajna, Bruce Rubenstein, Charles Roven, Mae Woods, Mario Kassar
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Turkish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Momentum
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Mar. 2002
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y425
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,852 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Severely-deformed petty criminal Johnny Handsome (Mickey Rourke) is double-crossed in a robbery and left to take the rap on his own. He is stabbed in jail and sent to hospital, where a prison doctor decides that plastic surgery and a fresh start will lead Johnny on the path to reform. However, when the handsome new Johnny emerges from prison, his potential fresh start in life is hampered by his desire to get even with the man who put him away.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 28 May 2011
Format: DVD
Walter Hill's 1989 morality play sees Mickey Rourke gives one of his very best performances as a deformed crook given plastic surgery and a second chance for either redemption or revenge. Given short shrift from most critics and making little impact at the box-office, Johnny Handsome is a minor gem waiting to be discovered, a pulp noir thriller in the RKO mold lifted into another class by the conviction of the cast and direction.

Hill's direction is a refreshing return to the form he hadn't quite managed to hit since The Driver, with a title sequence reminiscent of The Warriors briskly setting both the scene and the pace and acting as a prelude to the fluid, fast-cut action scenes. Originally developed for Robert De Niro, Rourke lends considerable depth to the part, making interesting use of his voice in the early scenes, Ellen Barkin and Lance Henriksen make a convincingly sleazy pair of villains, Freeman walks away with everybody else's scenes and, as usual, Elizabeth McGovern does her best with an almost non-existant role. Only the normally reliable Forrest Whittaker stumbles with his role, serving the narrative demands of his part without ever really getting inside it, but that's a small price to pay for a thriller as good as this.

Whereas LionsGate's US NTSC DVD is a shoddy fullframe transfer, the UK PAL DVD boasts a decent 1.8:1 transfer and the original trailer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Johnny Handsome is directed by Walter Hill and adapted to screenplay by Ken Friedman from the novel "The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome" written by John Godey. It stars Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern, Lance Henriksen, Forest Whitaker, Morgan Freeman and Scott Wilson. Music is by Ry Cooder and cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti.

John Sedley (Rourke), AKA: Johnny Handsome, has a severely disfigured face, when he and his only real friend are double-crossed by two accomplices during a robbery, Johnny is sent to prison and his life reaches a new low. However, hope springs in the form of Dr. Steven Fisher (Whitaker), a pioneering plastic surgeon who offers to give Johnny surgery that would give him a normal face as he attempts to integrate back into society. With a new face making him unrecognisable, there is scope to enact revenge on the two people who killed his best friend and had him put in prison...

Walter Hill knows his film noir, anyone who has seen The Driver knows this. Here for Johnny Handsome, Hill takes a lot of the fantastical elements of noir and dresses it up admirably as a violent revenge thriller. A box office flop and something of a kicking post for big hitting critics of the late 1980s, it's a film that now can be seen as being very much in tune with its influences.

The charges of it being too bonkers, too violent and too much of a "B" movie homage just don't add up, because what is on offer is good solid meaty neo-noir cinema. A protagonist with an affliction, medical shenanigans, hyper femme fatale, over the top villain and a stoic and sarcastic gumshoe type copper. All of which operate in a sweaty and luridly coloured New Orleans. Add in Hill's eye for aggressive action sequences and it's neo a go-go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CLINT McGAVIN on 23 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Under-rated 80s Rourke flick with fine performances from a good cast. Johhny Handsome is a facially deformed smalltime crook who gets double-crossed on a heist that he planned by two volatile career crims. While in the clink, he is offered the chance of a new face and life by partaking in an experimental surgery programme. With his new boatrace, will he take that chance for a straight life? Or will he use his new unrecognisable mush to trick and destroy the people that set him up? Watch and see! This has the look and feel of an 80s picture which I always like and if, like me, you are a Rourke fan, you should think about checking this one out if you haven't already. Good stuff.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G-MAN on 6 July 2005
Format: DVD
First off, I have to say wot a great film this is, thats not well known ,how ?!! Well being a fan of mickey rourke movies such as angel heart,desperate hours i decided to purchase this little walter hill classic-not knowing it would be a classic old skool eighties flick.
I wont say to much about the plot,as its pretty basic. Mickeys face is deformed-hence title 'johnny handsome' and hes in a lot of trouble with the law. And gets a second chance-new face-new life. But can he really change,you will have to see!
If you now walter hill, you can expect the usuall violence and action!
Overall a great old classic 80's B! I was tempted to give 4 stars though, as i hoped there could have been a bit more depth in some of the characters,but most wouldnt care, what the hell- mickey is great as 'johnny',his old skool acting style deserves 5 stars!
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1 of 16 people found the following review helpful By I. Lamell on 15 May 2010
Format: VHS Tape
Film extremely dark with interrupted viewing, also horribly violent. Very poor vhs copy, with unsimpathetic direction, and very very poor tape indeed! Help!!
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