Johnny Dangerously was
a comedy spoof of 1930's Al Capone-like gangster movies.
Released in 1984, the movie featured a large cast of
well-knowns: Michael Keaton as Johnny Dangerously, Joe Piscopo
as Danny Vermin,
Marilu Henner as Lil Sheridan, Peter Boyle as Jocko
Dundee, Dom Deluise as The Pope, Danny Devito as Burr,
and Dick Butkus as Arthur. In 1984, the movie
received mixed reviews, which is where it continues to
rank. The movie wasn't a runaway money maker, but
it was profitable for 20th Century Fox.
In the movie, we learn little Johnny
Kelly (aka Johnny Dangerously, played by Keaton) must,
out of necessity, turn to a life of crime to put his kid
brother through law school and pay for his mother's
medical care. Local crime boss Jocko Dundee
(Boyle) takes a liking to Johnny, and hires him, after
seeing him beat the tar out of Danny Vermin (Piscopo).
As the years go by, and his mom's condition worsens,
Johnny finds that he must go to work for Jocko full
time, while keeping his secret mob identity secret from
Johnny goes about the
business of helping Jocko fight a rival gang.
Johnny's brother, Tommy, graduates from law school and
joins the District Attorney's office. Not knowing
that Tommy is Johnny's brother, some of Jocko's gang
tries to knock him off. Tommy survives, finds out
his brother is Johnny Dangerously, and asks him to quit
his life of crime. When Johnny agrees to quit, the
others are afraid he will turn state's evidence, so they
frame him for murder. While on death row, Johnny's
family finds out the truth, and Johnny escapes the
electric chair in the nick of time to save his brother.