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Racket Busters (1938)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  16 July 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 302 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

Manhattan gangster John "Czar" Martin enters the trucking business in an effort to control the produce market. When he catches popular trucker Danny Jordan robbing the gang's office to ... See full summary »



(original screen play), (original screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Racket Busters (1938)

Racket Busters (1938) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
George Brent ...
Denny Jordan
Gloria Dickson ...
Nora Jordan
'Skeets' Wilson
Henry O'Neill ...
Penny Singleton ...
Anthony Averill ...
Oscar O'Shea ...
Elliott Sullivan ...
Charlie Smith
Fay Helm ...
Mrs. Smith
Joe Downing ...
Norman Willis ...
Don Rowan ...


Manhattan gangster John "Czar" Martin enters the trucking business in an effort to control the produce market. When he catches popular trucker Danny Jordan robbing the gang's office to provide for his pregnant wife Nora, Martin forces Jordan to join him. As the other truckers come around Martin appears to have won. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Racket Busters  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


John 'Czar' Martin: Holler, suckers. When I get through with you, you'll holler even louder.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits: Based upon official court records of the special rackets prosecution of the trucking racket in new york city. See more »


Spoofed in Porky's Five & Ten (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Smashing the Produce Rackets
5 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Though it might mean absolutely nothing to today's audience when you see the small mustached frame of Walter Abel who has been named a Special Prosecutor back in 1938 there was no doubt that Abel was a very thinly disguised portrayal of real life Special Prosecutor and newly elected District Attorney of New York County, Thomas E. Dewey.

Among the many rackets that Dewey did investigate and prosecute was an effort to organize truckers and get a stranglehold on the produce markets of New York City. This film is taken from some very true and recent headlines back in the day.

Warner Brothers loved Mr. Dewey and his prosecutorial exploits. A few years earlier Humphrey Bogart, the chief villain in this film, played a Dewey like prosecutor himself in Marked Woman which is based in part on how Dewey convicted Lucky Luciano via his stranglehold on houses of prostitution.

The hero in Racketbusters is George Brent, stepping into a role that James Cagney probably turned down. He's a truckdriver who resists organization either by an honest union or the racketeers. And he's got ideas from the street about the social standing of stool pigeons.

When things happen to his wife Gloria Dickson and his friend Oscar O'Shea, Brent himself becomes as big a racketbuster as Walter Abel.

Allen Jenkins is a surprise here. Usually a mug whether a good guy or a bad guy, Jenkins steps up to the plate here as a man who went from the truckdriving game to the produce business. He understands the point of view of both sides and urges them to settle and kick out Bogart and his henchmen. Good job by Jenkins.

No doubt in 1938 who this film was all about.

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