Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar — Scenes 9 & 10
When Confronted with the Truth, Bluff
Steger shows interest in Johnny’s assessment of the Stanley Springs company. He wants to know what he thinks of Philips committing suicide. Johnny’s answer will let Steger know if Johnny is a threat to his secret operations or not. Johnny quits tip toeing around and plainly states, ‘It wasn’t suicide.” When confronted with the truth about Philips’ death, Steger acts like it doesn’t matter to him what Johnny thinks. He says he’s sure Johnny has no hard evidence against him. Since Steger seems so nonchalant about it, Johnny risks going for the phone to get word out. Steger instructs Childs to deal with this threat and Johnny takes a beating.
Caring for the Wounded
Later, Anne and Johnny share a few tender moments while she looks after his wounds. She tempts him to put the case aside for a while, but Johnny can’t. Steger has just revealed his fear that Johnny might have enough to put him behind bars, but Johnny is confronted by the fact that he has yet to find a way to let the proper authorities know.
The Fight Scene
Johnny is being true to his calling as a hard-boiled detective. Unlike classical detectives, like Sherlock Holmes, who have only to use their brains and keen sense of observation to solve their cases, the gritty North American hard-boiled detectives often take a beating.Being faced with tough brawling criminals calls for being tough in return, so sometimes they come to blows. They get into fights and are often knocked out. While half out of it, they might even have a vision. When they come to, they see the situation more clearly and have the resolution necessary to see it through to the end when they finally solve the case. Well, Johnny doesn’t get knocked out this time, so no vision either, but his fight does show us that he’s willing to take risks to bring Stager to justice.
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Johnny put up a brave fight, but didn’t achieve his goal of getting word out about the company’s criminal activity. Can you think of a more effective way for him to have contacted the police? Remember, the story is set back in the 1950’s, so Johnny couldn’t simply make a cellphone call. But what other methods were available to him? What do you think he should have tried? Leave your ideas in the comments below.