The Racket (1928)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  1 November 1928 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 631 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 12 critic

An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.



(from the stage success of), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Patrolman Johnson (as Pat Collins)
Henry Sedley ...
Joe Scarsi (as George Stone)
Sam De Grasse ...
Welch (as Sam DeGrasse)
Miller (as Skeets Gallagher)
John Darrow ...
Lucien Prival ...
Dan Wolheim ...


An honest police captain named McQuigg becomes a tough rival to a powerful bootlegger named Scarsi, even though McQuigg's pinches never stick because Scarsi and his organization control the corrupt politicians and judges. When Scarsi can't scare McQuigg off, he gets him transferred to a quiet police precinct in the suburbs, but McQuigg continues their war of words via a pair of wisecracking newspaper reporters. Then McQuigg catches a huge break when Scarsi's younger brother gets picked up for a hit and run accident in his precinct, putting in motion a complex plan to bring down the mobster using the reporters, a nightclub singing gold digger, the upcoming elections and Scari's own organization. Written by TimeNTide

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 November 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lei dos Fortes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(2004 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 22 November 1927 and closed in March 1928 after 119 performances. The opening night cast included Edward G. Robinson, Romaine Callender, G. Pat Collins (who is also in the movie), Norman Foster, Hugh O'Connell and Willard Robertson. See more »


[first lines]
[McQuigg ducks into a doorway when one of Scari's henchmen shoots at but purposely misses him. Scarsi emerges from behind the door]
Nick Scarsi: Hello, Mac.
Police Captain James McQuigg: Hello, Nick.
Nick Scarsi: Take a tip, Mac... change your racket.
Police Captain James McQuigg: I like my racket... and I haven't shot yet.
See more »


Remade as The Racket (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

15 December 2004 | by (South Carolina) – See all my reviews

As it has just been recovered and digitized by University of Nevada at Las Vegas and Turner Classic Movies along with the rest of Howard Hughes' classic silent movies, the people of today will finally get to see this great movie. A movie about prohibition and the mafia, made at the same time it was all going on. Idealizing the mafia before the Godfather was even thought of. Although it may be silent, it shows detail on the corruption of the mob with the police force and government officials, and not to mention the costumes of the film were obviously fitting for the time period, and used common "gangster" themes, such as the pinstriped suit with fedora and the cigar. The production quality is very good for the time, with what equipment they had to work with. The stereotypical choppiness of the frames from 20's movies rarely occurs, except when there is much fast action. Turner also did a good job digitizing this, as the film quality is still high. I recommend that people see this, albeit short, it gives a good idea about the movies of the times. Along with "Two Arabian Nights", also produced by Howard Hughes.

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