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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 ... 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

Taglines:

Never before such a Meighan story, never before such a Meighan cast, never before such a mighty Meighan melodrama. You must see it! (Print Ad- Casper Independent, ((Casper, Wyo.)) 3 August 1928)

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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

Film debut of G. Pat Collins. 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

Remade as The Racket (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great directing of a very good cast
16 December 2004 | by morrisonhimselfSee all my reviews

Lewis Milestone performed one of his best directing jobs with "The Racket." He had a superior cast in what, in a later talkie, might be just a mediocre script, but taken in context, "The Racket" is a great movie. Watch the byplay during the funeral, for example.

Milestone and his editors and special effects people create some excellent visual effects to complement a cast that charms even in the role of slimy bad guy. Minor characters still got their chances to shine in the spotlight and even the non-speaking -- well, of course all the characters were non-speaking in one sense -- the un-named characters whose job was to look menacing or even just interested in the goings-on, all stood out.

Frankly this film was a surprise to me -- not that it was so good, but that I had had no knowledge of it beforehand.

To come so early in the career of so many of the people connected with it, notably Howard Hughes, who had the (to me) strange title of "presenter," this film is a stand-out. Robert Israel, who wrote the music for this revival, is fast becoming one of the great composers of the modern era.

All the people who are responsible for this film's recent revival deserve the thanks of film lovers as well as film historians. "The Racket" is one to see again.


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