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The Woman Racket (1930)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  24 January 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 65 users  
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During a raid on a speakeasy, a cop finds himself attracted to a pretty female employee. Instead of arresting her and taking her to jail, he not only helps her escape but takes her out to ... See full summary »


(as Albert Kelley) , , 1 more credit »


(based on a play by), (based on a play by), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Tom Moore ...
Sally Starr ...
Robert Agnew ...
Rags (as Bobby Agnew)
John Miljan ...
Lew Kelly ...
Tom London ...
Eugene Borden ...
Jack Byron ...
Duke (as John Byron)
Nita Martan ...
Rita (scenes deleted)
Richard Travers ...


During a raid on a speakeasy, a cop finds himself attracted to a pretty female employee. Instead of arresting her and taking her to jail, he not only helps her escape but takes her out to dinner. Eventually they marry, but it's not long before the new bride starts to yearn for the excitement of her life back at the speakeasy. Against her husband's wishes, she goes back there and is noticed by the joint's owner, who offers her a job. She decides to take the job, leave her husband and go back to her old life, but things don't turn out quite the way she expected. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance







Release Date:

24 January 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lights and Shadows  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was also issued in a silent version, where Fred Niblo Jr. was probably credited onscreen for "titles," but no details are known. He was not credited in the sound version. See more »


Call Me to Arms
Words by Howard Johnson
Music by Louis Alter
© October 29, 1929; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Sung by Robert Agnew and Sally Starr
Played on piano by Robert Agnew and danced by Sally Starr
See more »

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User Reviews

Worth Watching Only for Sweet
30 July 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Woman Racket, The (1930)

** (out of 4)

A cop (Tom Moore) saves a show girl (Blanche Sweet) from a pinch and soon the two are married. Things start off well but soon the wife grows bored of her housewife role and soon she's back in the nightclubs where she gets caught up with a dangerous gangster (John Miljan). THE WOMAN RACKET is your typical crime picture from MGM and sadly it's really not all that good. I think the main reason for people to tune into this thing is for Sweet who most film buffs will remember from her remarkable work with D.W. Griffith. This was one of her few sound films so that will be the main draw and there's no doubt that she's the best thing in the movie. As someone who has seen over a hundred Griffith films, it's always fun seeing his original troupe in other people's work. With Sweet she was always playing that "down home girl" and she was usually dressed in rags or made to look less attractive. It was really pretty strange seeing her in this role playing a sexy singer who uses her looks to gain a thing or two. I was really caught off guard at how well Sweet looked in this role but she also comes across extremely charming. There wasn't a single second where you don't believe her in the part and she perfectly sells that sexuality and charm. Moore, on the other hand, doesn't come off as well. I think he's a tad bit too laid back at times and it seems like he was struggling with some of the dialogue at times. He's certainly far from horrible but he doesn't add too much. Miljan is pretty good in the role of the gangster as he has no trouble coming off like a snake and he makes it easy to hate this character. Like many early talkies, this one here suffers from talking way too much as there are way too many dialogue scenes that just keep on and on. There are a couple musicals numbers, which aren't too bad and especially those performed by Sweet. Buffs will notice Sammy Lee served as musical director and he would eventually become a director at the studio doing various musical shorts. THE WOMAN RACKET just doesn't have enough life, energy or style to make it work so in the end it's mainly for those interested in Sweet.

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