Johnny Dangerously

Johnny Dangerously Movie Poster

"Organized crime has never been so disorganized".  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-known actors:  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 his family.

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.