6.9/10
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27 user 13 critic

The Racket (1928)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 November 1928 (USA)
An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Writers:

Bartlett Cormack (from the stage success of), Bartlett Cormack (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Thomas Meighan ... Captain James McQuigg
Louis Wolheim ... Nick Scarsi
Marie Prevost ... Helen Hayes
G. Pat Collins ... Patrolman Johnson (as Pat Collins)
Henry Sedley Henry Sedley ... Spike
George E. Stone ... Joe Scarsi (as George Stone)
Sam De Grasse ... District Attorney Welch (as Sam DeGrasse)
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Miller (as Skeets Gallagher)
Lee Moran ... Pratt
John Darrow ... Dave Ames - Cub Reporter
Lucien Prival ... Chick
Dan Wolheim Dan Wolheim ... Sgt. Turck
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Storyline

An honest police captain named McQuigg becomes a tough rival to a powerful bootlegger named Scarsi, even though McQuigg's pinches never stick because Scarsi and his organization control the corrupt politicians and judges. When Scarsi can't scare McQuigg off, he gets him transferred to a quiet police precinct in the suburbs, but McQuigg continues their war of words via a pair of wisecracking newspaper reporters. Then McQuigg catches a huge break when Scarsi's younger brother gets picked up for a hit and run accident in his precinct, putting in motion a complex plan to bring down the mobster using the reporters, a nightclub singing gold digger, the upcoming elections and Scari's own organization. Written by TimeNTide

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Lei dos Fortes See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Caddo Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2004 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Received only one Oscar nomination, for Outstanding Picture, the precursor of the Best Picture award. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[McQuigg ducks into a doorway when one of Scari's henchmen shoots at but purposely misses him. Scarsi emerges from behind the door]
Nick Scarsi: Hello, Mac.
Police Captain James McQuigg: Hello, Nick.
Nick Scarsi: Take a tip, Mac... change your racket.
Police Captain James McQuigg: I like my racket... and I haven't shot yet.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2004, The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Flicker Alley, LLC copyrighted a new digital version with a new orchestral score composed, arranged and conducted by 'Robert Israel (II)'. It was produced by Jeffery Masino and runs 84 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful rescued film
15 December 2004 | by donjmillerSee all my reviews

This has been resurrected courtesy of Turner Classic Movies, the University of Nevada, et al. (in pretty good shape, too) in a nicely done digital restoration, complete with a good score. If you get a chance to see it, you might want to take a chance: in spite of it being a silent (I consider that a handicap), it's an entertaining film, with a lot to like.

There's fine acting, especially by Louis Wolheim as the main gangster, whose face is so expressive you don't miss the sound as long as he's on screen. Marie Prevost and 'Skeets' Gallagher turn in solid supporting performances. There's clever dialogue: very good given the constraints silent films inherently have.

Personally, I thought the best feature is the wonderful cinematography. Rarely does the camera technique look dated or technically primitive, and many scenes are as well done as any since. The use of dissolves and interesting angles was delightful, and there are even a couple (surprising, to me) attempts at zooms that come off alright. Obviously a good director/cinematographer team. The overall look of the film is fresh and clear.

The story is pretty entertaining and the characters are brought to life, making me glad this film was brought back to life as well.


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