JOHNNY COOL—-before Frank Sinatra bounced him from The Rat Pack, professional hanger-on Peter Lawford had a hand in producing this 1963 tomato of a gangster flick. #3 Rat buddy Sammy Davis Jr. contributed a cameo. Associate Rat Henry Silva stars, playing a remorseless one-man vengeance machine on the loose, killing his way through 103 dreary minutes.
Directed by William Asher, on a break from his Beach Party fests (he doesn’t dig drama, you’ll notice, if you bother to chisel this from the debris pile). Elizabeth Montgomery draws the female lead. They married on the day this was released, went on to Bewitched immortality. She’s not bad, but it’s such an ugly downer, and Silva is one-note all the way.
Notables convinced by Lawford to have walk or die-on’s include Rat packer #5 Joey Bishop, Telly Savalas, Jim Backus, Mort Sahl, Richard Anderson, Marc Lawrence, Brad Dexter, John McGiver, Joseph Calleia, Joan Staley, Elisha Cook, Robert Armstrong, John Dierkes, Hal Baylor and Joe Turkel. Watching the preview (often available on You Tube) is good for laughs. Too bad the movie is so lousy.