Johnny poster


  • U
  • 15 Aug 1980
  • 2h 20m
  • Action, Crime, Drama
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Johnny is a 1980 Tamil crime thriller film written and directed by Mahendran. The film stars Rajinikanth, Sridevi and Deepa.

Johnny was released on 15 August 1980. Though the film disappointed audiences in the first two weeks of its run because its title gave the impression of an action entertainer, it picked up in the third week and became a commercial success, running for over 100 days in theatres.





  • Status Released
  • Certificate U
  • Release date 15 Aug 1980
  • Running time 2h 20m
  • Genres Action, Crime, Drama


Rajinikanth, Sridevi, Deepa, Suruli Rajan, K. Balaji, Prabhakar Reddy, Kanchana
A. Paul Duraisingam
Action, Crime, Drama

Johnny, a con artist, indulges in cons with his friend to settle his father's debts. Johnny was born out of wedlock; his mother never got the recognition and dignity of a wife. Though Johnny is upset on never getting recognised legally as a son, he decides to help his father by clearing his loans. Johnny, a fan of singer Archana, never misses her concerts, which is also noticed by Archana. A romance develops between the two, but neither expresses it.

Vidyasagar, a barber, lives in a bungalow away from the city. Once when he returns home after getting drunk and losing control, he is helped by Bhama, a homeless orphan. When Bhama requests him to employ her for domestic work, he relents. Bhama, slightly greedy and indecisive, always aspires for better things in life. However, her beauty and innocence makes Vidyasagar fall in love with her. He protects and cares for her and buys her new clothes.

Johnny cons a businessman, who files a police complaint. When he sees Vidyasagar at a salon, he mistakes him for Johnny and calls the police. The commissioner investigates the case along with the superintendent. Since Vidyasagar was in the salon when the con took place, the commissioner believes the thief is someone else. The police start hunting for Johnny and also monitor Vidyasagar. Johnny's friend visits the salon and mistakes Vidyasagar for Johnny. Upon realising Vidyasagar is another man, he brings Johnny to meet him.

Learning of the troubles Vidyasagar is facing because of his crimes, Johnny visits Vidyasagar and reveals himself as the culprit. To protect Vidyasagar from the police, Johnny tells him to remain home for 10 days so that he can resolve all issues and come clean. Archana expresses her love for Johnny, but he hesitates to reciprocate due to his background. When Archana misunderstands his hesitation, thinking he is doubting her integrity and character, Johnny confesses his love and seeks time to settle a few things before marrying her. Johnny eventually settles all his father's loans, but is shocked when his father dies after knowing his son settled his loans.

Vidyasagar notices Bhama with another man. When questioned, she says she shares a sibling-like relationship with him. Vidyasagar proposes to her and assures he will take good care of her. However, Bhama looks down at his profession and feels it would be embarrassing for her children. Though hurt, Vidyasagar tries to explain things to her and gives her time to decide. However, Bhama hurriedly tries to escape with the man at night. Vidyasagar stops and kills them. Witnesses inform the police, who assume it is Johnny's work and search for him, also for pending cases against him. Vidyasagar, aware that Johnny is wanted, tries to foist the murder charge on him, and Johnny goes into hiding.

When Vidyasagar learns from Johnny's friend about Archana's love and her affluence, he decides to impersonate Johnny and goes to Archana's house. When Archana explains that she compensated Johnny's victims at the cost of her wealth, Vidyasagar is disappointed. Archana, hurt by "Johnny's" curtness, is confused about his change in taste and behaviour. Though Vidyasagar had come with plans to win her and grab her wealth, her character and love for Johnny stop him, and he reveals his true identity. He assures her that Johnny will be back soon and advises her to perform one last concert (which she had cancelled after Johnny got into trouble) so that Johnny will return.

Johnny sees an advertisement for Archana's concert and decides to attend. On the scheduled day, heavy rain occurs and no one attends. However, Archana still comes to the venue and sings. The police suspect her decision and wait at the venue. Johnny arrives at the venue, accepts responsibility for all the frauds and murders, and is arrested by the police. But Archana realises that it is actually Vidyasagar posing as Johnny. Archana gets upset when the real Johnny does not arrive. Just before she leaves the venue, Johnny reaches, meets her and understands all that transpired. They reunite.


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