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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Johnny Eager Film Noir
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1420  Wednesday, 9 July 2003

From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Tuesday, 08 Jul 2003 19:46:59 -0400
Subject:        Johnny Eager Film Noir

The film noir Johnny Eager (dir. Mervyn Roy, 1941) has a reference to
Romeo and Juliet and a later one to Hamlet / Henry VI, Part Three. Van
Heflin plays Johnny's  mouthpiece misquotes, / conflates lines from
Hamlet and Richard Gloucester: "I can smiles and smiles and cut your
heart out with a bloody ax. That's from Shakespeare."  The film has a
series of literary references, and Cyrano de Bergerac is the central
one. There are also humorous references to "big words" such as
"inamorata." A young Lana Turner stars opposite Robert Taylor. Mike
Jensen tells me that the radio adaptation had the same or very similar
Shakespeare lines, and his note to me prompted me to see the film. My
thanks to him.

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