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

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Down 29% 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:
User Reviews:
Turn that racket down. 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)
Carey Loftin .... stunt double: (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?

Ray Collins and William Talman both co-starred in the TV series Perry Mason.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 "Smallville: Noir (#6.20)" (2007)See more »
A Lovely Way To Spend An EveningSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Turn that racket down., 21 June 2011
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom

The Racket is a remake of the 1928 film of the same name, itself based on a popular Bartlett Cormack play. With Howard Hughes backing the production it was beset with a number of problems, interference and a few director changes were prominent and the script was tampered with to try and capture the zeitgeist of the Kefauver Committee Hearings that were running prominently at the time. Plot in basic form pitches Robert Mitchum's honest police captain against Robert Ryan's no good crime boss, and the location is some corrupt American city (almost certainly Chicago).

At the time of its making, the film had a cast list that cried out as a roll for film noir/crime movie big hitters: Robert Mitchum (Out of the Past), Robert Ryan (Crossfire), Lizabeth Scott (Pitfall) and William Talman (Armoured Car Robbery), while in support there was the likes of William Conrad (The Killers), Ray Collins (Leave Her to Heaven) and Virginia Huston (also Out of the Past). Even looking at the directors who contributed on the production sees some fine genre credentials: John Cromwell (Dead Reckoning), Nicholas Ray (In a lonely Place), Mel Ferrer (The Secret Fury) and Tay Garnett (The Postman Always Rings Twice). But too many cooks can often spoil the broth, such is the case here.

Solid enough story that's unspectacular in its execution, a choppy yet just about watchable experience, and certainly a softer crime movie than it really ought to have been. It has often been coined as being a hard-hitting melodrama, but the decent thriller sequences are cloaked by a narrative that actually doesn't flow with any conviction. There's also the odd casting of Mitchum as a good guy to get around, and the film doesn't achieve that, namely because Mitchum plays it distinctly unenthusiastically. Ryan, too, looks to be going thru the motions, while Scott is woefully underused. Thankfully there's good work from Talman, Collins and Conrad to enjoy, while Huston impacts with what little she is given to work with.

On a surface viewing it's easy to believe that The Racket is a better film than it is. We enjoy seeing Ryan doing snarly villainy and throwing punches, and Mitchum, in spite of walking thru the picture, is always a watchable presence. Pulses are raised too with some gun play, auto pursuits and a roof top punch up. But strip those way and you find the odd scene slotted in that doesn't make a great deal of sense, they exist but serve no purpose since the writing doesn't recall them later. There's also the whiff of stupidity about the way the makers were clearly trying to craft an intelligent take on organised crime, yet the police really don't have to do much to nail these bad boys. It's all very well portraying Mitchum and Talman as bastions of good and pure, but at least let them have to do work to bring down the crims! While the ending is wholly unsatisfactory.

The names involved ensure the film is never boring, but confused messages and a jumbled narrative make it a film of big intentions but not much substance. As for film noir? Well it does contain film noir type characters, but really this is about as film noir as my day-glow socks. 5/10

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