IMDb > The Racket (1951)
The Racket
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The Racket (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
William Wister Haines (screenplay) and
W.R. Burnett (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Racket on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 December 1951 (USA) See more »
YOU'LL LEARN WHO PAYS OFF WHO -- AND WHY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(4 articles)

 (From Variety - TV News. 6 February 2015, 8:30 PM, PST)

Lizabeth Scott, Husky-Voiced Film Noir Stalwart, Dies at 92
 (From Variety - Film News. 6 February 2015, 8:30 PM, PST)

Film Noir Star and Elvis Presley Leading Lady Scott Dead at 92
 (From Alt Film Guide. 6 February 2015, 7:09 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Maybe not even a noir, but it has noir stylizing and some big names See more (40 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Mitchum ... Captain Thomas McQuigg

Lizabeth Scott ... Irene Hayes

Robert Ryan ... Nick Scanlon

William Talman ... Officer Bob Johnson

Ray Collins ... Dist. Atty. Mortimer X. Welsh
Joyce Mackenzie ... Mary McQuigg (as Joyce MacKenzie)
Robert Hutton ... Dave Ames
Virginia Huston ... Lucy Johnson

William Conrad ... Det. Sgt. Turk
Walter Sande ... Precinct Sgt. Jim Delaney

Les Tremayne ... Harry Craig (Crime Commission chief investigator)
Don Porter ... R.G. Connolly
Walter Baldwin ... Booking Sgt. Sullivan
Brett King ... Joe Scanlon
Richard Karlan ... Breeze Enright
Tito Vuolo ... Tony, Nick's Barber
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Alden ... Sergeant (uncredited)
Gregg Barton ... Rookie Cop (uncredited)

Don Beddoe ... Mitchell - Member of Craig's Office (uncredited)
Kate Belmont ... Operator (uncredited)
Robert Bice ... Police Dispatcher (uncredited)
Matthew Boulton ... Simpson - Nick's Butler (uncredited)
Barry Brooks ... Cameron (uncredited)
Howland Chamberlain ... Roy Higgins (uncredited)
Claudia Constant ... Girl (uncredited)
John Daheim ... Mannick - Nick's Driver / Henchman (uncredited)
Don Dillaway ... Harris - Member of Craig's Team (uncredited)
Art Dupuis ... Police Car Driver (uncredited)
Jane Easton ... Operator (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Policeman, Car 43 (uncredited)
William Forrest ... Head of Crime Commission (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Lewis (uncredited)
Dick Gordon ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Bret Hamilton ... Reporter (uncredited)
Jayne Hazard ... Girl (uncredited)
Curtis Jarrett ... Policeman (uncredited)
Howard Joslin ... Sgt. Werker (uncredited)
Hazel Keener ... Secretary (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Sergeant (uncredited)
Harry Lauter ... Officer Mosley (uncredited)
Ronald Lee ... Elevator Boy (uncredited)
Herbert Lytton ... Police Doctor (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Pedestrian with Morning Newspaper (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Governor's Butler (uncredited)
Allen Mathews ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Harriet Matthews ... Librarian (uncredited)
Philo McCullough ... Man Seated at Bar (uncredited)
John McGuire ... Policeman in Locker Room (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Al Murphy ... Newsboy (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Counterman / Short Order Cook (uncredited)
Eddie Parker ... Garage Roof Thug (uncredited)
Ralph Peters ... Davis - Crooked Bondsman (uncredited)
Howard Petrie ... The Governor (uncredited)
Joey Ray ... Reporter (uncredited)
Walter Reed ... Policeman at Roll Call & in Locker Room (uncredited)
Richard Reeves ... Leo - Driver / Scanlon Henchman (uncredited)
Stephen Roberts ... Schmidt, Police Car Driver (uncredited)
Jack Shea ... Night Desk Sergeant (uncredited)
Miles Shepard ... Policeman (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
George Sherwood ... Douglas (uncredited)

Milburn Stone ... Member of Craig's Team (uncredited)
Duke Taylor ... Policeman (uncredited)
Herb Vigran ... Paradise Club Manager (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Durko - Ugly Henchman (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Detective with Johnson at the Paradise Club (uncredited)
Sally Yarnell ... Brunette Police Operator (uncredited)

Directed by
John Cromwell 
Mel Ferrer (uncredited)
Tay Garnett (uncredited)
Nicholas Ray (uncredited)
Sherman Todd (uncredited)
Writing credits
William Wister Haines (screenplay) and
W.R. Burnett (screenplay)

Bartlett Cormack (play)

Produced by
Edmund Grainger .... producer
Original Music by
Paul Sawtell (uncredited)
Cinematography by
George E. Diskant (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Sherman Todd 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Jack Okey 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
William Stevens (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Michael Woulfe (gowns)
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Production Management
Cliff P. Broughton .... production supervisor
Arthur Siteman .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James E. Casey .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Frank McWhorter .... sound
Clem Portman .... sound
John Daheim .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Alexander Kahle .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
C. Bakaleinikoff .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Roy Webb .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Howard Hughes .... presenter
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1952) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (2010) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #15253) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Shelley Winters was originally announced as the picture's female star in January 1951.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Big Steal: Look Behind You (2007) (V)See more »
A Lovely Way To Spend An EveningSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Maybe not even a noir, but it has noir stylizing and some big names, 10 September 2013
Author: secondtake from United States

The Racket (1951)

A stellar cast and gritty photography can't quite lift this movie into the exciting classic it might have been. The basic problem here is the material, the story, which is slow and steady. It involves lots of conversations, all filmed with huge drama, about negotiating new ways of doing things as a national mob organization squeezes out the local mob boss.

This is still a good movie, for sure. Robert Ryan plays the local boss getting overshadowed and he ramps it up as usual, beating a few people senseless. Robert Mitchum is given a dull role, not as a cop on the beat but as the chief of a precinct in charge of cops on the beat. And he was once buddies with Ryan, so they have a couple of one-on-ones. Lizabeth Scott is sharp and as good as she gets in her quirky femme fatale manner, but we don't see enough of her. Throw in Ray Collins as a slithering politico (a role he seems to have been born for) and William Conrad as a corrupt cop (with many pounds to gain before his days as t.v.'s Cannon, etc.) and you see how it looks like good stuff.

A star behind the scenes is definitely cinematographer George E. Diskant, not a big name in the field but responsible for several terrific film noirs including the flawless "They Live by Night." He is in good form here even though there isn't much action. You only wish the director, John Cromwell, had more guts to let Diskant fly with things. Cromwell is one of those by-the-book directors who gets the job done but doesn't seem to see the opportunities to surprise the viewer. And he was loaded with opportunity here.

The story is basically about life as a cop in a big city. That's why half the time (almost literally) we are in the police station. Or a squad car. There is no actual crime at the center of things (lots of crimes go zipping by, for sure). It's not about solving a crime, but about getting the old boss. It's Mitchum vs. Ryan. And Ryan is more fun. Things get fairly complicated, perhaps needlessly, but the overall trend is toward justice, and how it is best served in a corrupt world. Filled with good nuances, but packaged a bit awkwardly by the end.

I say this isn't quite a film noir, but of course in the big picture most people would have to call it that. What it lacks (for me) is the loneliness of the lead character, and maybe even the evilness of the femme fatale. Mitchum is part of a big machine, and a sympathetic one (a huge police force). Ryan is just a thug, and a mean one with a small mind. It's pure crime stuff with noir stylizing. Good enough for a great evening--if you stay alert to all the details.

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