A relationship gradually develops between a savvy New York street girl and a good-hearted cab driver--who first meet when she stiffs him for the fare--but other matters keep getting in their way, including financial problems and a murder.
A nightclub singer marries the rich owner of a rubber plantation. When she returns with him to his estate in Malaysia, she finds out that he is cruel, vicious and insanely jealous. She and ... See full summary »
Fan dancer Alabam Lee is convicted of breaching the morals code with her racy shows. Her agent has her adopt a "mother" from an old ladies home as a publicity ploy to improve her image. ... See full summary »
Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace incident was a complete misdiagnosis with mixed emotions. She is happy not to be... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Young freewheeling wanderer Jerry Day and his beautiful wife Toni are at odds over their lifestyle. Jerry can't accept responsibility but Toni yearns for a family and a settled life. Then ... See full summary »
Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge and predictable complications result.
Helen and Ken are a pretty strange couple. She is a pathological liar, and he is a scrupulously honest (and therefore unsuccessful) lawyer. Helen starts a new job, and when her employer is ... See full summary »
Tony (Charles Laughton), a successful but illiterate middle-aged grape farmer, sends the photograph of his handsome young foreman, Joe (William Gargan), instead of his own, hoping to woo ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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" stars Carol (deprived of the "e" that usually appeared at the end of her first name) Lombard as a woman thrown out of society because she left her husband for a concert violinist (Roland Drew) who has since become a down-and-out alcoholic, and torn between her love for him and the interest of New York crime kingpin Robert Armstrong (top-billed). It's virtually a compendium of what was wrong with the earliest talkies: stiff direction, immobile cameras, stagy acting and ridiculously slow-paced delivery of lines. At the time the sound crews were telling the directors to have their actors speak every line s-l-o-w-l-y and not to start speaking their own line until after the previous actor had finished theirs. Done about five years later, this could have been an interesting movie, but director Howard Higgin faithfully follows his sound recorder's dictates and systematically undercuts the talents we know Lombard and Armstrong had from watching their later movies. "The Racketeer" was made in 1929, a year that despite the transition problems from silent to sound nonetheless gave us some legitimate masterpieces Vidor's "Hallelujah!," Mamoulian's "Applause," Wyler's "Hell's Heroes," Capra's "Ladies of Leisure" all from directors with strong enough wills to tell the soundboard dictators to get stuffed and let their actors talk and act naturalistically. Too bad Howard Higgin wasn't that strong; as it is, watching a naturally rapid-paced actor like Armstrong slog through the part in the ridiculous way he's been told to speak, one can't help but wonder where that 50-foot gorilla is when Armstrong needs him.
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