54 user 33 critic

The Racket (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 12 December 1951 (USA)
1:08 | Trailer
In New York, two honest cops try to hinder a crime syndicate from moving into the precinct and also to prevent the mob's plan of electing a corrupt prosecutor to a judgeship.


John Cromwell, Mel Ferrer (uncredited) | 3 more credits »


William Wister Haines (screen play), W.R. Burnett (screen play) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Mitchum ... Captain Thomas McQuigg
Lizabeth Scott ... Irene Hayes
Robert Ryan ... Nick Scanlon
William Talman ... Officer Bob Johnson
Ray Collins ... D.A. Mortimer X. Welsh
Joyce Mackenzie ... Mary McQuigg (as Joyce MacKenzie)
Robert Hutton ... Dave Ames
Virginia Huston ... Lucy Johnson
William Conrad ... Det. Sgt. Turk
Walter Sande ... Sgt. Jim Delaney
Les Tremayne ... Harry Craig
Don Porter ... R.G. Connolly
Walter Baldwin ... Sgt. Sullivan
Brett King Brett King ... Joe Scanlon
Richard Karlan Richard Karlan ... Breeze Enright


The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon. There are only two problems: First, Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things the old-fashioned way instead of using the syndicate's more genteel methods. The second problem is McQuigg, the only honest police captain on the force, and his loyal patrolman, Johnson. Together, they take on the violent Nick and try to foil the syndicate's plans to elect Welch, the crooked prosecutor running for a crooked judgeship. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


YOU'LL LEARN WHO PAYS OFF WHO -- AND WHY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Ray Collins and William Talman costarred in the TV series "Perry Mason (1957)," as police lieutenant Arthur Tragg and prosecutor Hamilton Burger, respectively. See more »


An explosion at the home of Captain McQuigg rocked the interior of the home causing damage inside and throwing his wife, Mary, to the floor. When Captain McQuigg leaves his home there appears to be no damage to the front exterior of the home whatsoever. See more »


Lucy Johnson: What if we had three kids?
Officer Bob Johnson: You'd be half done. I want six.
See more »


Referenced in Smallville: Noir (2007) See more »


A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Performed by Lizabeth Scott (dubbed)
[Irene sings the song at the nightclub]
See more »

User Reviews

excellent and gritty
9 February 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This film reminds me a lot of an earlier film that paired Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan (CROSSFIRE), as both have very tough and gritty plots that are excellent examples of Film Noir. However, in this film instead of a plot involving anti-semitism, it's a good cop versus organized crime flick. Once again, Ryan is a scumbag and Mitchum is a decent and hard-as-nails cop bent on justice. A particular standout is the dialog between them--very snappy and pure Noir! I particularly liked the exchanges between them in the police station when they were cross-examining the cocky and unrepentant Ryan. And, since it is Noir, you know that there will be ample quantities of violence and testosterone. Give it a try--this is a seldom-mentioned classic.

37 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 54 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

12 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Racket See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed