5.5/10
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20 user 6 critic

The Racketeer (1929)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 9 November 1929 (USA)
A dapper gangster sponsors an alcoholic violinist in order to win the love of a glamorous divorced socialite.

Director:

Howard Higgin

Writers:

Paul Gangelin (story), Paul Gangelin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Armstrong ... Mahlon Keane
Carole Lombard ... Rhoda Philbrooke (as Carol Lombard)
Roland Drew ... Tony Vaughan
Paul Hurst ... Mehaffy
Kit Guard ... Gus
Al Hill ... Squid
Bobby Dunn ... The Rat (as Bobbie Dunn)
Budd Fine Budd Fine ... Bernie Weber (as Bud Fine)
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Lee
Jeanette Loff ... Millie Chapman
John Loder ... Jack Oakhurst
Winter Hall ... Mr. Chapman
Winifred Harris ... Mrs. Chapman
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Storyline

Tough mobster Mahlon Keane practically runs crime in New York City. He meets broke ex-society girl Rhoda Philbrooke at a society fundraiser and helps her cheat her way to some winnings in poker. Rhoda needs the money to help nurse broken alcoholic concert violinist Tony Vaughan back to health. In between his criminal dealings, Keane takes up Rhoda's cause and helps promote Vaughan's return to public performance. Rhoda agrees to marry Keane but still harbors unrequited love for Tony Vaughan. On the eve of her marriage, Vaughan confesses his love to Rhoda. Now how will she handle her mobster fiancée? Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DRAMATIC...TENSE...ROMANCE OF HIGH SOCIETY AND THE UNDERWORLD! (original poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love's Conquest See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pathé Exchange See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) (sound)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film occurred in Los Angeles Thursday 17 February 1949 on KFI (Channel 9). See more »

Goofs

When Gus spots rival gangster Bernie Weber riding in the back of a taxi, he tells his driver Squid to pull alongside it so he can shoot him. Gus refers to it as a gray cab, and in the studio close-up it appears to be white or at least a very light gray. In the subsequent cut to the location shot done outdoors on location, the cab with the dead mobster appears to be black. See more »

Quotes

Rhoda Philbrooke: Mr Keane, If you'll understand what I'm going to say, we'll save time. I cheated last night because I needed money. You helped me. I'm grateful to you for that, but that's all. If that's clear to you, will you please go?
Mahlon Keane: I didn't come here for your thanks.
Rhoda Philbrooke: There's nothing else I have to give you.
Mahlon Keane: But I think there are a few things I have to give you.
Rhoda Philbrooke: Oh. You can't understand that a woman who would cheat for money might not care to do other things...
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Story, Good Role for Lombard
3 November 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

The good story and Carole Lombard's performance make "The Racketeer" one of the movies of the very early sound era that still holds up all right. It does have the flaws common to the earliest sound movies, with some shaky dialogue delivery, an erratic pace, and weak sound quality. But these do not keep it from being worth seeing, and in any case even the better movies of 1929 usually had some of these same problems.

Lombard has a very good role as a somewhat mysterious divorcée caught between two very different men. Robert Armstrong plays the gangster who helps both her and her other boyfriend. The third member of the triangle is a drunken violinist played by Roland Drew. Drew gives a rather nondescript performance, but at least the character is interesting. More than that, the setup does a good job in varying the usual formula so as to set up some good drama.

The atmosphere holds up well, and although some individual sequences have oddly chosen pacing, as a whole the story moves along pretty well. It easily holds your interest for the whole running time. It compares favorably with many of the movies of its day, and it is still a solid feature worth seeing for those who enjoy the movies of the era.


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