Johnny Dangerously

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"Remember kid, crime... doesn't... pay."

"...Well, it paid a little."
Mr. Kelly - a.k.a. "Johnny Dangerously"

Johnny Dangerously is a comedic film produced by Twentieth Century Fox in 1984, and is primarily an Affectionate Parody of gangster movies set in Prohibition-Era New York City. The title character is played by Michael Keaton, portraying a youth who joins an organized crime gang in order to raise money in order to pay for medical proceedures for his ailing mother. The movie begins its light-natured path with an Animated Credits Opening featuring images of Manhattan locales set to "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "This Is The Life". We are introduced to the owner "Kelly's Pet Shop," Mr. Kelly, who apprehends a would-be thief and, after being treated to a tough-guy attitude, begins to tell the tale of his own past... the criminal known as "Johnny Dangerously."

Tropes used in Johnny Dangerously include:
  • Amoral Attorney - the D.A.
  • Baby Carriage - One of the would-be assassins of Johnny is hiding in a baby carriage.
  • Bag of Holding - Ma Kelly's purse
  • Big Applesauce - "Lil... This ain't Chicago... we're in New York."
  • Blinding Camera Flash: Johnny gets photographed repeatedly and then promptly walks into the wall he can't see anymore.
  • Bomb Whistle - There is a scene actually involving a bomb dropped from a plane on the casino of his enemy, Roman Maronie. Followed by an explosion.
  • Book Safe - ammo for Johnny's jail-breaking machine gun.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Johnny speaks directly to the children in the audience about the importance of not smoking.
    • The wavering "flashback" effect when Johnny starts talking about his past life, which both characters on screen notice.
  • Broken Aesop - "Crime doesn't pay." Cue his fancy suit, chauffeured car, and elegantly dressed wife. "Well, it paid a little."
  • Bull Seeing Red - the D.A.'s death - in a commercial.
  • Cain and Abel - the "brother versus brother" story line.
  • Catch Phrase - Vermin, used multiple times in the form "You shouldn't do something bad to me. My family member did that to me once." (long pause with index finger extended for emphasis) "Once."

Danny Vermin: You shouldn't grab me, Johnny. My mother grabbed me once. Once.
Danny Vermin: You shouldn't hang me on a hook, Johnny. My father hung me on a hook once. Once.
Danny Vermin: *while in clear pain* You shouldn't kick me in the balls, Mrs. Kelly. My sister kicked me in the balls...once...
Danny Vermin: *while being dragged away* You shouldn't have shot me Johnny. My grandmother shot me once...

"I'm sorry Johnny, I just don't have the tits for it ... I mean... heart."

  • Flashback Effects - the entire movie takes place during a flashback, illustrating the story Mr. Kelly is telling the would-be thief he caught trying to steal a puppy from his pet store.

Thief: What the Hell's goin' on?!
Mr. Kelly: Oh, it always does this when I talk about the past.

Prisoner: I didn't say that.
Johnny Dangerously: No, but I know this grapevine.

Lil: "Do you realize your last name is an adverb?"

  • Hand Cannon - Danny Vermin's .88 Magnum. "It shoots through schools."
  • Heroes Want Redheads
  • IKEA Weaponry - On the way to the electric chair, as part of the Prison Break, below
  • Ineffectual Death Threats - Moronie to Dundee during an almost-execution.
  • Instant Messenger Pigeon - Polly
  • Johnny McCoolname - It's right there.
  • Luxury Prison Suite - Johnny's prison-striped three-piece suit.
  • MacGuffin - "Whoever has my cigarette case bumped-off the Commissioner."
  • Malaproper - Roman Moronie. He'd have given the movie a hard R rating for language if the miserable corksoaker could pronounce a word of it correctly, that fargin icehole.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin - played with. Johnny has to scare his little brother Tommy away from the free-wheelin' life of sex - complete with an Army VD film - so that Tommy will stay in law school. Meanwhile, Johnny is surrounded by beautiful dames and has no problem scoring on first dates:

Dundee (as fireworks go off in the distance): Hey! Sounds like Johnny's getting laid!

Johnny: "Where the hell are we?"