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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 »

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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

Only one copy of the film is known to have survived. It was long thought lost before being located in Howard Hughes' film collection after his death. The film was restored and preserved by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas film department. The restored copy is frequently shown on Turner Classic Movies in the US. 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

 
Prototypical gangster epic
15 December 2004 | by rsbrandtSee all my reviews

Like TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS and THE MATING CALL, this film has now been restored by UNLV (which found the prints of these films once thought lost in an archive of producer Howard Hughes' possessions) in cooperation with Flicker Alley.

Lewis Milestone, who had just directed TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS for Hughes, brought much of the same sense of friendly rivalry between the two leads to this picture, as well as the same co-star, Louis Wolheim. All the elements of many a subsequent gangster picture are here: The close personal relationship between the antagonists (gang boss Wolheim and cop Thomas Meighan); the kid brother whom the gangster wants to shelter from the rackets (George E. Stone, soon to appear in LITTLE CAESAR and many another gangster flick), but who runs afoul of a tough little chanteuse (Marie Prevost). Mob bosses cavorting in lavish nightclubs, overwrought gangland funerals, crooked politicians, a wet-behind-the-ears reporter with two old pros as a chorus: it's all here.

Enough of the action takes place in a run-down precinct house to belie the story's stage origins, but there's plenty of action, including a shootout between two rival gangs, to keep things hopping.


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