6.8/10
2,161
46 user 29 critic

The Racket (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 February 1952 (Italy)
In New York, two honest cops try to hinder a crime syndicate from moving into the precinct and also to prevent the mob's plan of electing a corrupt prosecutor to a judgeship.

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 3 more credits »

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Robert Young, Susan Hayward, Jane Greer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Barbara Beaurevel lives with her aunt and cousin in New Orleans in the late 1800's. In love with Mark Lucas, a research doctor at Tulane University, her plans to marry him are thwarted. ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Ava Gardner, Melvyn Douglas
Action | Crime | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A deported gangster's plan to re-enter the USA involves skulduggery at a Mexican resort, and gambler Dan Milner is caught in the middle.

Directors: John Farrow, Richard Fleischer
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price
Split Second (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two escaped killers take hostages and hide in a Nevada mining ghost town knowing that an atom bomb is scheduled to be tested there the next morning.

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling
Macao (1952)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix
Scandal Sheet (1952)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The editor of an exploitation newspaper commits a murder and assigns his protégé to investigate hoping to divert attention away from himself.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Derek, Donna Reed, Broderick Crawford
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Through a fluke circumstance a ruthless woman stumbles across a suitcase filled with $60,000, and she is determined to hold onto it even it if means murder.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea
Pitfall (1948)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Insurance executive John Forbes falls for femme fatale Mona Stevens while her boyfriend is in jail and he suffers serious consequences as a result.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nick and his partner Al stage a payroll holdup. Al is shot and Nick kills a policeman. Nick hides out at a public pool, where he meets Peg Dobbs. They go back to her apartment and he forces her family to hide him from the police manhunt.

Director: John Berry
Stars: John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Wallace Ford
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Successful, newly married Brad Collins once belonged to the Communist Party of the USA, and now the Party will stop at nothing to use him.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Robert Ryan, Laraine Day, John Agar
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Anti-Nazi tract laced with 1938 newsreel footage finds American girl (Bennett) married to a German (Lederer) gradually learning he is a Nazi, trying to get their son to America.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Joan Bennett, Francis Lederer, Lloyd Nolan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Mary McQuigg (as Joyce MacKenzie)
...
...
...
...
...
Harry Craig (Crime Commission chief investigator)
...
...
Brett King ...
Joe Scanlon
Richard Karlan ...
Breeze Enright
Edit

Storyline

The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon. There are only two problems: First, Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things the old-fashioned way instead of using the syndicate's more genteel methods. The second problem is McQuigg, the only honest police captain on the force, and his loyal patrolman, Johnson. Together, they take on the violent Nick and try to foil the syndicate's plans to elect Welch, the crooked prosecutor running for a crooked judgeship. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOU'LL LEARN WHO PAYS OFF WHO -- AND WHY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 February 1952 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Das Syndikat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ray Collins and William Talman costarred in the TV series Perry Mason (1957), as police lieutenant Arthur Tragg and prosecutor Hamilton Burger, respectively. See more »

Goofs

Nick Scanlon's car is a 1949 Chrysler Crown Imperial limo. In the crash scene, an older 1942 model was used. The '49 side trim has been added, but the different front end reveals the switch. See more »

Quotes

Booking Sgt. Sullivan: [booking Joe Scanlon, then examining the gun he was caught with] Receipt for your toy, sonny. My granddaughter could use that for a paperweight - in her kindergarden.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Smallville: Noir (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Performed by Lizabeth Scott (dubbed)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"The Racket" ls A Slow Moving Movie That Shows Its Age
7 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

Throughout the movie, there are references made to the "old man," the leader of the organization that all the shady characters work for, an unseen presence who only contacts his underlings by telephone. I wonder if Howard Hughes knew when he was making this movie that was how he, Howard, was going to end up, always staying in the shadows as he operated his empire by telephone. Probably not, Howard was a hands on guy who mostly damaged the movies he worked on.

Whether anyone could have remade the 20's play and movie The Racket into a good movie is an open question. The movie has a few flaws: a script that is 20 years out of place, too much talk, a wildly improbable gangster played by scenery chewing Robert Ryan and much of the action confined to a police precinct house that is staffed with two or three cop extras and no extras as civilian walk-ins. The scene at the start where all the cops line up for roll call and Robert Mitchum reads them the riot act, if they take one payoff they are out, is laughable.

It seems from this speech that this is Mitchum's first day as Captain of the 7th Precinct, where he was reassigned because he was honest and arrested the wrong people. Yet, in this same precinct is the headquarters of Acme Real Estate, in an office building, the front company for the organization. Higgins, who works for the crime organization, is bumped off as he leaves Acme and, the scripts says, the murder will investigated by Mitchum, since the murder took place in the 7th Precinct. Why would a crime organization get Mitchum's character reassigned to a precinct where their headquarters are? I saw this movie on the Warner film noir DVD but I did not listen to the commentary, so I don't know if there is an explanation for this plot hole. At about the same time as this move was in release, in 1951, Warner Bros. had released Humphrey Bogart in The Enforcer and James Cagney had been in Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, both movies that move at light speed compared to The Racket. These two other movies also had government groups investigating crime organizations, but that is their only similarity with The Racket.

The Racket is a good example of tired scriptwriters going through the motions to collect a salary and of actors doing a good job collecting a paycheck. There is only one plus in this entire movie, William Conrad doing a fine job playing the cynical Sergeant Turk.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Paul Scheer on Why There Are No Bad Movies

Paul Scheer discusses The Disaster Artist and his love of awesomely bad movies. Plus, we dive into the origins of midnight movies and explore how The Room became a cult classic.

Watch now