THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

INCREDIBLY OBSCURE FILM DEPARTMENT

JOHNNY COOL (1963)

Johnny Cool was a brutal, violent revenge drama that was way ahead of its time.  What might be more surprising is that the TV series Bewitched grew out of this (!)   No, Samantha didn't start her witchy ways as a hit man - Elizabeth Montgomery met her next husband, director William Asher, doing Johnny Cool. Together, a year later, she was starring in (and Asher was producing) Bewitched.  You will never see girl-next-door type Montgomery more sultry, steamy and sexy then in Johnny Cool, trust me!


Character actor Henry Silva, fresh off an acclaimed part in The Manchurian Candidate, takes his first lead role here (there weren't many more) as Salvatore Giordano, a Sicilian hitman.  He's tapped by an exiled American mob boss (Marc Lawrence) to head to America and take revenge against all of his mob rivals.  Now nicknamed "Johnny Cool," Silva returns to the states and starts mowin' them down!  And that's where he meets Darien "Dare" Guiness (Montgomery), who's rich, divorced and intrigued by this Johnny Cool fella.  Of course, that leads to no good for anyone.  


This film, as mentioned before, is startling for 1963 with the (offscreen) brutal killings.  Who ever would have thought that Asher, the director of all of those "Beach Party" films, had this film lurking within?  And the cast is strong and unexpected, featuring a number of names who, like Liz, would also go on to star on the small  screen - Jim Backus, Richard Anderson, Telly Savalas and Joey Bishop (!). But wait there's more - John McGiver, Sammy Davis Junior (who also sings the title song) and comedian Mort Sahl also turn up.  The quality of Sahl's scene, when he realizes JC is going to kill him, is unexpected and memorable.  


Silva is icy yet charismatic as Johnny Cool in what may be one of his best performances. Unpredictable and nasty, Johnny Cool deserves a wider audience.


The whole flick has turned up on YouTube - so I am attaching the link below.  

Let me know what you think!