Johnny Angel

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This article is about the 1945 film. For other uses, see Johnny Angel (disambiguation).
Johnny Angel
theatrical release poster
Directed by Edwin L. Marin
Produced by William L. Pereira
Screenplay by Frank Gruber
Steve Fisher
Based on Mr. Angel Comes Aboard 
by Charles Gordon Booth
Starring George Raft
Claire Trevor
Signe Hasso
Music by Leigh Harline
Cinematography Harry J. Wild
Edited by Les Millbrook
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates
  • October 25, 1945 (1945-10-25) (LA)[1]
  • December 20, 1945 (1945-12-20) (Sweden)[2]
Running time
79 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Johnny Angel is a 1945 film noir directed by Edwin L. Marin and written by Frank Gruber and Steve Fisher from the novel Mr. Angel Comes Aboard by Charles Gordon Booth. The movie stars George Raft, Claire Trevor and Signe Hasso, and features Hoagy Carmichael.[3]


A merchant ship captain (George Raft) finds his father's ship – of the same line – derelict at sea, the entire crew having disappeared. From an unlisted passenger (Signe Hasso), the only survivor of the hijacking of the ship, he learns of a plot involving secret gold, and searches New Orleans for his father's murderer.



Although RKO had low expectations for the film it was an unexpected hit, earning the studio a profit of $1,192,000.[4] Raft went on to make three more thrillers for RKO.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

The staff at Variety magazine gave the film a lukewarm review, and wrote, "Johnny Angel is another in the seemingly never-ending series of maritime intrigues involving murder and lust. It is slow and plodding, with poor story development...Raft is his invariably glowering self as a guy who really handles his mitts - and the dames - while Claire Trevor and Signe Hasso are the romantic interests. Rest of the cast is weighted down too much by the story..."[6]

Time Out film guide gave the film a positive review and wrote, "The world of Johnny Angel is very noir indeed...They all inhabit a closed world, where even pastoral idylls reek of claustrophobia and obsession. The men struggle against the towering shadows of their fathers, the women are dangerously enigmatic, and the docks of New Orleans glisten under the diffuse light of a single street-lamp. Even Hoagy Carmichael sounds eerie singing "Memphis in June." There are no black diamonds, but Johnny Angel glitters like one."[7]



  1. ^ "Johnny Angel: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Johnny Angel". Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ Johnny Angel at the Internet Movie Database.
  4. ^ Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p205
  5. ^ Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 116
  6. ^ Variety. Film review, 1945. Last accessed: January 24, 2008.
  7. ^ Time Out. Film Guide, review, 2008. Last accessed: January 24, 2008.

External links[edit]