Noirvember #8: Johnny Allegro (1949)

johnny allegro

George Raft plays the titular Johnny Allegro, a florist with a secret past. When he starts playing nice with Glenda (Nina Foch) a federal agent takes an interest. It turns out she has a past too and a present. She’s married to Morgan Vallin (George Macready) a shady gangster that the feds are interested in, but have yet to be able to pin anything to. They figure Johnny can use his new connection to Glenda to get to Morgan.

He gets cozier with her and she invites him to meet Morgan on his private island. There is some discussion of Johnny being of service to Morgan’s counterfeiting scheme, but things turn sour pretty quickly. Morgan is a guy who eschews guns but loves playing with his big bow and arrow. Naturally, he uses it a few times and it all winds up a The Most Dangerous Game type situation.

George Raft was not a spectacular actor in the best of situations and here age has crept up on him. He plays Johnny like he’s bored most of the time. Big reveals in the plot barely get a raised eyebrow. George Macready matches his lackadaisical stance and between the two of them the film has a hard time creating any sort of tension.

It is, however, a ton of fun watching Macready fire off his bow and arrow. The actual story and the direction are all pretty good. Good enough to keep me watching anyway.