Johnny Eager, 1941, Is Playing on TCM on February 15 (USA)

Johnny Eager (1941) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, February 15, 2015 07:00 AM est. Closed captioned.


Robert Taylor and Lana Turner in “Johnny Eager”

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold, Van Heflin, Robert Sterling, Patricia Dane, Glenda Farrell, Barry Nelson. Slick MGM melodrama with convoluted plot about sociology student (and daughter of D.A. Arnold) Turner falling in love with unscrupulous racketeer Taylor. Heflin won Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Taylor’s alcoholic friend.(TCM)

Having only been familiar with Robert Taylor’s body of forgettable (humpf) work from the thirties (The Broadway Melodies, Camille, etc), seeing him in the title role of Johnny Eager 1972425_924571320890637_3709082624071824968_nwas stunning. Tom Hanks’s 180 degree turn from silly comedies to Philadelphia might be a modern day equivalent. Taylor steps into a role that would seem tailor made for Bogart, Cagney or Robinson, and does an arguably better job than any of them could have. Yes, Lana Turner is present, and yes, Van Heflin won a supporting Oscar, but Taylor owns this film.

Johnny Eager is one of the best films of the 40s, as well as one of the all time greats.
(Taken from a review by Justin Behnke on the IMDB).


About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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4 Responses to Johnny Eager, 1941, Is Playing on TCM on February 15 (USA)

  1. Brittaney says:

    One of my favorites!


  2. giraffe44 says:

    Mine, too, Brittaney. Mr. Taylor proved that he could be a tough guy. Thanks for writing.


  3. dianne345 says:

    Good review except for the disparaging remarks about the ’30s films, most of which were very good. This movie is an example of Mr. Taylor’s amazing versatility & his continuing growth as an actor, an opportunity afforded by the MGM “repertory company”. And even as a freelancer in his later years, I think he could have become a fine character actor (perhaps even a character lead) if he had lived long enough & been able to choose his roles as well as MGM chose them for him.


    • giraffe44 says:

      I agree that Mr. Taylor could have become a fine character lead like Liam Neeson or Harrison Ford. His proven record of versatility and his mature good looks would have allowed him to do so much, if only– Those rotten cigarettes. If only he had been able to stop. Thanks for writing again.


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