Tough mobster Mahlon Keane practically runs crime in New York City. He meets broke ex-society girl Rhoda Philbrooke at a society fundraiser and helps her cheat her way to some winnings in poker. Rhoda needs the money to help nurse broken alcoholic concert violinist Tony Vaughan back to health. In between his criminal dealings, Keane takes up Rhoda's cause and helps promote Vaughan's return to public performance. Rhoda agrees to marry Keane but still harbors unrequited love for Tony Vaughan. On the eve of her marriage, Vaughan confesses his love to Rhoda. Now how will she handle her mobster fiancée? Written by
Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
When Gus spots rival gangster Bernie Weber riding in the back of a taxi, he tells his driver Squid to pull alongside it so he can shoot him. Gus refers to it as a gray cab, and in the studio close-up it appears to be white or at least a very light gray. In the subsequent cut to the location shot done outdoors on location, the cab with the dead mobster appears to be black. See more »
The Racketeer was destined to be one of Carole Lombard's earliest sound films, it was done for Pathe Pictures with whom she was with in 1929. With the title it has, you might be thinking its a gangster flick, the kind Warner Brothers would soon be making.
If that's what you think forget it. This is one dull and plodding melodrama involving a love triangle between alcoholic violinist Roland Drew, gangster Robert Armstrong, and former society débutante Carole Lombard who left her husband and all his money for Drew before the film began and is now tied to a drunk.
If you think you will see the bright comedienne of My Man Godfrey and so many films with Fred MacMurray, forget that also. Like just about everyone else at this time, Lombard and the rest of the cast overact dreadfully. I'm surprised and she might have been also that she had a career and survived this film.
Best in the cast is Paul Hurst who plays a beat cop, but is determined to bring in Armstrong and displays some initiative and ruthlessness in trying to do just that.
Like what the Abbe Sieyes said about the French Revolution, Carole Lombard can state her major accomplishment from The Racketeer is that she survived it.
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