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The Racket (1928)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  1 November 1928 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 565 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.

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(from the stage success of), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Racket (1928)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Thomas Meighan ...
Captain McQuigg
...
...
...
Johnson (as Pat Collins)
Henry Sedley ...
Spike
...
Joe Scarsi (as George Stone)
Sam De Grasse ...
Welch (as Sam DeGrasse)
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ...
Miller (as Skeets Gallagher)
Lee Moran ...
Pratt
John Darrow ...
Ames
Lucien Prival ...
Chick
Dan Wolheim ...
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lei dos Fortes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2004 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Only one copy of the film is known to have survived. It was long thought lost before being located in Howard Hughes' film collection after his death. The film was restored and preserved by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas film department. The restored copy is frequently shown on Turner Classic Movies in the United States. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Remade as The Racket (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great directing of a very good cast

Lewis Milestone performed one of his best directing jobs with "The Racket." He had a superior cast in what, in a later talkie, might be just a mediocre script, but taken in context, "The Racket" is a great movie. Watch the byplay during the funeral, for example.

Milestone and his editors and special effects people create some excellent visual effects to complement a cast that charms even in the role of slimy bad guy. Minor characters still got their chances to shine in the spotlight and even the non-speaking -- well, of course all the characters were non-speaking in one sense -- the un-named characters whose job was to look menacing or even just interested in the goings-on, all stood out.

Frankly this film was a surprise to me -- not that it was so good, but that I had had no knowledge of it beforehand.

To come so early in the career of so many of the people connected with it, notably Howard Hughes, who had the (to me) strange title of "presenter," this film is a stand-out. Robert Israel, who wrote the music for this revival, is fast becoming one of the great composers of the modern era.

All the people who are responsible for this film's recent revival deserve the thanks of film lovers as well as film historians. "The Racket" is one to see again.


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