JOHNNY O’CLOCK is a 1947 American FILM NOIR CRIME film written and directed by ROBERT ROSSEN

DICK POWEL acted on radio with Jeff Chandler and was impressed by the young actor. Chandler later recalled, “It was Dick who took me to Columbia and told everybody who would listen, ‘This kid ought to be in pictures.’ One executive finally kinda gave him a look which said: ‘All right you — —, we’ll put him in yours.’ And that’s how I came to play a gambler in a card playing sequence.”
Filming started 10 July 1946.

Johnny O’Clock (Dick Powell) is a junior partner in a posh casino with Guido Marchettis (Thomas Gomez). Complicating their longtime working relationship is Guido’s wife Nelle (Ellen Drew), who is still in love with former boyfriend Johnny. She gives Johnny an expensive custom pocket watch, the twin of a birthday present she gave her husband, except Johnny’s has a romantic inscription engraved on the back.

Johnny gives the watch, along with a rejection note, to Harriet Hobson (Nina Foch), a hat-check girl at the casino, to return to Nelle. Harriet, however, apparently commits suicide using gas. Her sister Nancy (Evelyn Keyes) shows up to find out what happened. She becomes attracted to Johnny. They eventually learn from Police Inspector Koch (Lee J. Cobb) that Harriet was killed by poison.

Harriet was dating Chuck Blayden (Jim Bannon), a crooked cop who is trying to persuade Guido to let him take Johnny’s place. When Blayden also turns up dead, Koch suspects that either Johnny or Marchettis is responsible.

Though Johnny tries to resist, little by little, he falls for Nancy. When Koch shows both Johnny and Marchettis Johnny’s watch and note, Johnny tells Nancy their relationship is through and takes her to the airport. As he is driving away, however, he narrowly survives a drive-by shooting, and Nancy realizes he was only trying to protect her. She refuses to leave him.

Johnny decides to flee to South America with Nancy, but not before brazenly cashing in his share of the casino. Marchettis pulls out a gun when Johnny’s back is turned. They shoot it out; Marchettis is killed and Johnny wounded. Afterward, Nelle offers to testify it was self-defense, but only if he will come back to her. He refuses, so she tells Koch it was cold-blooded murder. Johnny’s first instinct is to run away, but Nancy convinces him to give himself up.

Dick Powell as Johnny O’Clock
Evelyn Keyes as Nancy Hobson
Lee J. Cobb as Inspector Koch
Ellen Drew as Nelle Marchettis
Nina Foch as Harriet Hobson
Thomas Gomez as Guido Marchettis
John Kellogg as Charlie
Jim Bannon as Chuck Blayden
Mabel Paige as Slatternly Woman Tenant
Phil Brown as Phil, Hotel Clerk
Jeff Chandler as Turk

Directed by Robert Rossen
Produced by Edward G. Nealis, Jerry Giesler
Screenplay by Robert Rossen
Story by Milton Holmes
Starring Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, Lee J. Cobb
Music by George Duning
Cinematography Burnett Guffey
Edited by Al Clark, Warren Low
Color process Black and white
Production company: J.E.M. Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date January 21, 1947
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget more than $1 million
Box office $1,750,000