Dance Hall Racket (1953)

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Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

A gangster who operates a sleazy dance hall uses a sadistic bodyguard to keep his girls afraid and his customers in line.



(original story), (screenplay)
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Cast overview:
Timothy Farrell ...
Lenny Bruce ...
Bernie Jones ...
Punky, the Swedish Sailor
Honey Bruce Friedman ...
Rose (as Honey Harlow)
Sally Marr ...
Bunny Parker ...
Dancehall Girl
Joie Abrams ...
Dancehall Girl
Ronald Lee
Bill King
Mary Holiday ...
Dancehall Girl
Frankie Mann ...
Dancehall Girl
Harry Keaton
Joe Piro ...


A merchant marine seaman is found murdered and suspicion falls upon the operator of a dime-a-dance honky tonk joint. A federal undercover agent is planted in the place to gather evidence, and he soon learns that the dive is only a cover-up for diamond-smuggling activities, and that one of the operation's henchmen, who is handy with a switch-blade knife, is the killer. Before they can be arrested, the henchman kills his boss and is shot while trying to escape. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Studded with Sordid Characters of the UNDERWORLD See more »





Release Date:

20 February 1953 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Vincent: Big deal! I killed a guy, it just makes me a criminal.
See more »


Featured in Sleazemania III: The Good, the Bad and the Sleazy (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Everyone is Lenny Bruce in a film that may actually be a satire and not serious after all
13 August 2006 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Watching this movie is a very bizarre experience. This movie was written by the comedian Lenny Bruce and if you listen to the delivery of every actor, it seems as though everyone is using Lenny's style of delivery for their performance. It becomes very surreal, especially if you're a fan of Bruce and his comedy. This notion of everyone using a similar style of delivery makes me wonder if the film is suppose to be drama or a comedy. Allowing for the lack of production values, questionable actors and Phil Tucker's direction this film seems to be more comedy or satire than drama. The situations and dialog are very close to some of Bruce's longer comedy routines where he spun out bizarre tales from Hollywood movies or from stereotypical situations. Could Dance Hall Racket have been intended as a send up of gangster films that instead was taken seriously by its director? (Then again maybe Lenny couldn't write anything that wasn't funny).

For the record this movie is about a smuggling ring run out of a dance hall. Its also a better movie if you take it as a comedy rather than as a drama, though it cheapness of manufacture diminishes the experience.

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