20 user 4 critic

The Racketeer (1929)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 9 November 1929 (USA)
A dapper gangster sponsors an alcoholic violinist in order to win the love of a glamorous divorced socialite.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Rhoda Philbrooke (as Carol Lombard)
Tony Vaughan
Bobby Dunn ...
The Rat (as Bobbie Dunn)
Budd Fine ...
Bernie Weber (as Bud Fine)
Mrs. Lee
Millie Chapman
Jack Oakhurst
Mr. Chapman
Winifred Harris ...
Mrs. Chapman


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 <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


VIVID, SENSATIONAL DRAMA OF THE FOREMOST TOPIC OF THE DAY! (original poster - all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 November 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love's Conquest  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(copyright length) (sound)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecast of this film occurred in Los Angeles Thursday 17 February 1949 on KFI (Channel 9). See more »


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 »

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User Reviews

Dated Melodramatic Triangle of Love
4 November 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1929, in New York, the powerful mobster Mahlon Keane (Robert Armstrong) meets the bankrupted former socialite Rhoda Philbrooke (Carol Lombard) in a poker game of a benefit fund-raiser party and helps her to cheat the game. Rhoda had divorced from her wealthy husband to stay with her alcoholic lover, the violinist Tony Vaughan (Roland Drew), and is financially broken. Mahlon feels attracted by Rhoda and helps her to recover the health of Tony and promotes his career. Later Mahlon proposes Rhoda, who accepts to marry him, but a couple of hours before their marriage in a yacht, Tony tells Rhoda that he loves her. While Rhoda thinks how to tell Mahlon about her love for Tony, a tragedy happens in Tony's dressing room.

"The Racketeer" is one of the first American features in the sound age, and has a dated melodramatic story of a triangle of love composed by a gangster, a musician and an ex-socialite. This film is only reasonable, having silly dialogs, average theatrical performances, terrible quality of sound with a terrible voice intonation of the cast and the images have not been restored, therefore is full of problems. The Brazilian DVD released by London Distributor, has an additional problem, with the bad quality of subtitle in Portuguese, full of mistakes, without synchronization and using capital letters in the first letter of every sentence. "The Racketeer" is only recommended as a curiosity of the transition between silent and sound features. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "O Gangster" ("The Gangster")

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