4.6/10
5,929
38 user 13 critic

Johnny Be Good (1988)

R | | Comedy, Sport | 25 March 1988 (USA)
Trailer
0:47 | Trailer
Johnny's the top high-school football player and many colleges want him. His girlfriend, coach and best friend want him in the college, serving themselves most.

Director:

Bud S. Smith (as Bud Smith)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Michael Hall ... Johnny Walker
Robert Downey Jr. ... Leo Wiggins
Paul Gleason ... Wayne Hisler
Uma Thurman ... Georgia Elkans
Steve James ... Coach Sanders
Seymour Cassel ... Wallace Gibson
Michael Greene ... Tex Wade
Marshall Bell ... Chief Elkans
Deborah May ... Mrs. Walker
Michael Alldredge ... Vinny Kroll
Jennifer Tilly ... Connie Hisler
Jon Stafford ... Bad Breath
Peter Koch ... Pete Andropolous
Howard Cosell ... Self
Jim McMahon Jim McMahon ... Self
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A womanizer meets his match when he falls for a woman in debt to the mafia.

Director: James Toback
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Robert Downey Jr., Dennis Hopper
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

Director: Marek Kanievska
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr.
Chances Are (1989)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A reincarnated man unknowingly falls in love with his own daughter from his previous life. Once he realizes this, he tries to end their relationship before angels erase his memory.

Director: Emile Ardolino
Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan O'Neal
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

To help his discouraged son get through college, a funloving and obnoxious rich businessman decides to enter the school as a student himself.

Director: Alan Metter
Stars: Rodney Dangerfield, Sally Kellerman, Burt Young
Tuff Turf (1985)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The new kid in school must battle a gang of street toughs after stealing the gang leader's girl.

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Stars: James Spader, Kim Richards, Paul Mones
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An accident puts the consciousness of an elderly dream researcher into the body of a bratty teenager. The problem? The kid prefers dreamworld limbo to real life.

Director: Marc Rocco
Stars: Corey Feldman, Jason Robards, Piper Laurie
Weird Science (1985)
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two high school nerds use a computer program to literally create the perfect woman, but she turns their lives upside down.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

2 girls wait outside a young actor's door and find out he's had them both as "only" girlfriend the last 10 months. They wait inside after breaking in. When Blake comes home he just can't stop lying but they stay.

Director: James Toback
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Heather Graham, Natasha Gregson Wagner
Johnny B Good (1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

In an effort to impress the girl he loves, a small-time hustler uncovers political corruption.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Richard Brooks, Richard Gant, Vonetta McGee
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unhappy businessman finds a new sense of purpose after he's tasked with helping a quartet of ghosts fulfill their last wishes before moving on to the afterlife.

Director: Ron Underwood
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Charles Grodin, Alfre Woodard
Firstborn (1984)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A teen must protect his family when his mother's sinister new boyfriend begins exerting his authority in their home.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Teri Garr, Peter Weller, Christopher Collet
Rented Lips (1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A documentary filmmaker, who has spent the last 15 years making films like "Aluminum: Our Shiny Friend," is finally given the chance to make the documentary on Indian farming he has always ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Downey Sr.
Stars: Martin Mull, Dick Shawn, Jennifer Tilly
Edit

Storyline

It's recruiting time and despite being short and scrawny, Johnny Walker is America's hottest young football prospect. His dilemma: should he take one of the many offers from college talent scouts or should he attend the local state college with his girlfriend and give up his football career? Written by Steve Derby <sderby@sdeco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every college in the country wants Johnny. 'Cause when he's good he's very very good. And when he's bad he's better.

Genres:

Comedy | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Uma Thurman gets an "Introducing Uma Thurman" credit. See more »

Goofs

A cop is thrown through the windshield of a cop car. The glass breaks in big shards like plate glass. Windshields are made from laminated safety glass and shatter into small pieces that stay together. See more »

Quotes

Georgia Elkans: Well. Since you're not going to speak, you WILL rub my feet.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Theatrical version was rated PG-13. Video version features additional footage and has been "re-rated R." See more »

Connections

Referenced in TruInside: Bull Durham (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Heaven Knows
Written by Michael Woody
Performed by Prisoner
See more »

User Reviews

 
A comedy with some heart and a good message but gets hung up on frivolities

Life lessons are not always the most prevalent in coming of age genre films. Sometimes they're real obvious, while others are more obscure and look to have their viewers find the deeper meaning themselves. It's also hard to say how significant a coming of age film can be when it is a Rated R comedy. Some have worked brilliantly - The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) is one. This on the other hand is a strange mix of elements that plays its cards right in some respects, while at other moments it's questionable to what the crew was thinking here. This is the story of Johnny Walker (Anthony Michael Hall), a high school athlete who has quite a fan club. After winning the last football game of the season (by cheating no less), Walker is approached by recruiter upon recruiter to play for their college team.

There are also other people who want Johnny to go with their opinion. Wayne Hisler (Paul Gleason), the high school coach wants him to attend a college of his choice so he can acquire special benefits and he'll do anything to make sure it happens. Johnny's mom and grandpa want him to get an education more than a sports scholarship and his girlfriend Georgia (Uma Thurman) wants him to attend State with her. So many opinions, which one will he choose?! Well, Johnny ends up attending mostly all of their open houses. This ends up having him being bribed with things that seem almost unrealistic or things that have nothing to do with getting an education or playing football. Of course fame grants several of these things but at a high school level? The kid and his team didn't even play fairly winning the last game so how does that even qualify? Are the refs that blind?

Plus, what's even more shocking is to how this production was able to gather now famous actors when they were starting off and the chemistry feels almost nonexistent. And, the screenplay was completed by three writers, all of which worked on Revenge of the Nerds (1984). How is that barely any charm are given to these characters? There are only a couple of moments that Johnny goes through that actually develop him as a character. Other than that he's placed in silly events that should trigger his conscience saying he shouldn't be there. The best parts of the film are when Johnny's family is on screen. Somehow they seem to have the best lines and character arcs. My favorite family member was the grandfather (George Hall). Such a nice old man.

Uma Thurman's character has a very typical character arc, loves her boyfriend - finds him as a jerk briefly - then resorts back to him. Possibly the strangest of all is Robert Downey Jr.'s character. Either he tries too hard to be funny or his jokes don't make any sense. It's baffling, I guess Downey Jr. didn't realize how much funnier he is when he says his lines deadpan than actually trying to be comical. Fans might also get a kick out of actor Marshal Bell's performance as Uma Thurman's dad, also the chief of police. He has some funny one liners at times too. All right enough of the characters. Jay Ferguson's music to the film is appropriately set but doesn't have anything to remember about it. Was it a comedy that had laughs galore? Not so much. Does it feel like a coming of age movie? Not really.

The cast contains famous actors of today in their youth and has a moral somewhere in its story but its delivery is overshadowed by hit and miss comedy. Much of the events that take place feel impossible too, decreasing its believability.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Johnny Be Good See more »

Filming Locations:

Alamo Heights, Texas, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,249,388, 27 March 1988

Gross USA:

$17,550,399

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,550,399
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed