Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner, Maureen Stapleton, Peter Boyle, Griffin Dunne, Glynnis O'Connor, Dom DeLuise, Richard Dimitri, Danny DeVito, Ron Carey, Ray Walston, Dick Butkus, Byron Thames, Alan Hale Jr.
Written by: Harry Colomby, Jeff Harris, Bernie Kukoff, Norman Steinberg
Directed by: Amy Heckerling
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 90
Date: 12/21/1984
IMDB

Johnny Dangerously (1984)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Name Is an Adverb

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I love this oddball period gangster spoof, directed by Amy Heckerling, with Michael Keaton at his cockiest, snappiest, and coolest as the title gangster who tries to support his ma (Maureen Stapleton) and tries to keep his kid brother (Griffin Dunne) on the straight and narrow. The setting is decidedly non-realistic -- it doesn't take place in any kind of reality, or in any kind of gangster film you've ever seen before -- and the jokes range from deadpan visuals to clever wordplay to irreverently dumb, repeated jokes that escalate with each telling. Joe Piscopo is also funny as the snide gun nut Vermin. But the villain Roman Troy Moronie, played by Richard Dimitri, gets the biggest laughs with his fractured curses, like "you fargin bastages!" The movie did not perform well either with audiences or critics, but it has its passionate fans today. "Weird Al" Yankovic provided a ragtime-style theme song, "This Is the Life," that fit perfectly, but was eventually deleted from home video releases for legal reasons.

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