Johnny Allegro

Johnny Allegro is a black and white 1949 American film noir, starring George Raft, Nina Foch, Will Geer, and George Macready. An ex-gangster (Raft) working as a federal agent runs afoul of a crime lord (Macready) who enjoys hunting humans for sport. The picture was directed by Ted Tetzlaff and produced by Columbia Pictures.[1]

Johnny Allegro
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTed Tetzlaff
Produced byIrving Starr
Written byGuy Endore
Karen DeWolf
Based onstory by James Edward Grant
StarringGeorge Raft
Music byGeorge Duning
CinematographyJoseph F. Biroc
Edited byJerome Thoms
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 26, 1949 (1949-05-26)
Running time
80 min.
CountryUnited States

Plot summary

Johnny Allegro (George Raft) is a former mobster who has gone over to the other side and now works for the U.S. Treasury Department as an undercover agent. Allegro is asked to help get the goods on Morgan Vallin (George MacReady), a polished counterfeiter who is involved in a right-wing plot to bring down the American government by flooding the U.S. economy with bogus currency.[2]



The film was originally known as The Big Jump.[3] Then it was known as Hounded.

George Raft signed on to make the film in July 1948. It was his first movie at Columbia since She Couldn't Take It (1935).[4] Jane Greer was sought for the female lead.[5] However Nina Foch, who had just enjoyed a big stage success with John and Mary, took the role.

Filming started in December 1948.[6] Filming went for longer than intended, meaning Raft missed out on starring in The Big Steal.[7] Some scenes were shot at Catalina Island.[8]


The Los Angeles Times thought the film had "polish and novelty as a melodrama" but was still essentially a B picture. "Raft does well enough in a routine way although there is not too much illumination in this performance."[9]

The New York Times said "nothing of any slight distinction" except a scene where someone is killed with a bow and arror "has been written into this low-grade fiction... Nothing with any vague resemblance to vivid acting is contributed by Mr. Raft, who has become one of the most indifferent and comatose actors extant."[10]


  1. Everett Aaker. The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013, pg 138.
  3. By THOMAS F BRADY Special to The New York Times. (1948, Nov 20). ACADEMY AWARDS WILL BE AT STUDIO. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  4. Schallert, E. (1948, Jul 01). Donna reed will play 'one woman' title role. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  5. Schallert, E. (1948, Nov 19). 'Murder is my business' heflin gotham venture; lake set in 'hurricane'. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  6. Schallert, E. (1948, Dec 13). Lamour company set; slate of comics heavy; nina foch now siren. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  7. MITCHUM IN LEAD OF 'THE BIG STEAL': RKO Moves Actor Into Role Originally Given to Raft -- Bank Tightens Loans By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]23 Dec 1948: 25
  8. By, T. F. (1949, Jan 16). HOLLYWOOD DIGS OUT. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  9. Schallert, E. (1949, Jun 14). Slickness all but masks weak spots in 'allegro'. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  10. Crowther, Bosley (31 May 1949). "The Screen". New York Times.
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