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The Racket

Released Jun 30, 1928 1h 10m Crime Drama List
100% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 68% Audience Score 100+ Ratings
In this Prohibition-era silent film, James McQuigg (Thomas Meighan) is an honest police captain in a city ruled by gangsters and corrupt politicians. McQuigg tries repeatedly to arrest Nick Scarsi (Louis Wolheim), a bootlegging kingpin, but can't get charges to stick. After rejecting Scarsi's bribes, the incorruptible McQuigg is transferred out of town, but refuses to be intimidated. When Scarsi's younger brother is caught in a hit-and-run, McQuigg attempts to take down the criminal underworld. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (6) Critics Reviews
Variety Staff Variety A good story, plus good direction, plus a great cast and minus dumb supervision, is responsible for another great underworld film. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Robert E. Sherwood LIFE Mr. Meighan, who has recently been counted out as a popular star, gives what is easily the best performance of his career. Oct 5, 2021 Full Review TV Guide A taut underworld drama. Rated: 3/4 Jan 31, 2012 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews It's easy to understand how it gripped audiences during the more primitive days of filmmaking. Rated: B Mar 26, 2007 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Produced by Howard Hughes and well-directed by Lewis Milestone, this yarn, about a police officer trying to control the mob, was one of the few crime-gangster films to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar until the 1970s. Rated: B Aug 7, 2006 Full Review Michael W. Phillips, Jr. Goatdog's Movies It's effortless entertainment, a good, solid, late silent film. Rated: 3/5 Jun 12, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (21) audience reviews
ChrisCSH H "The racket", even though a silent film is one of those few silent films that has a solid enough story that it's gripping and engaging. Its easily understandable that this film was one of the best picture nominees at the very first Academy Awards and it's easy to see how audiences were enticed and mesmerized about what they were seeing on the scree. for something like this to be shown during the late 20s was probably truly exciting to see, the shootouts, car chases and this very interesting and intriguing police versus gangster tale, "the racket" is truly a silent film classic. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/21/24 Full Review Louisa E This needed sound. It didn't really work as a silent movie. The acting was good but I just got too bored to care. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 05/08/23 Full Review Audience Member A quick speedy gangster thriller from Lewis Millstone about one cop's determination to see a crime lord brought to justice. Thomas Meighan who was a big name plays the cop while Louis Wolheim plays the gangster. Both are terrific but both upstaged by Marie Prevost as one of the first memorable gangster molls. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member Pretty well directed film, especially for it's time. The film about a cop trying to take down a high-ranking gang member in a corrupt system was more interesting than I thought it would be. Thomas Meighan played the honest cop McQuigg and does the best he can in a role with no sound. I liked seeing how McQuigg dealt with the District Attorney, Scarsi and his goons and also the press. The only part I wish could have been expanded upon was the Tuesday election regarding wards. I wasn't sure how Scarsi was helping the District Attorney in this election and how crucial Scarsi's input was for the election result. I also did not really care for the new love interest of Scarsi's brother's ex-girlfriend. He was only really important as a witness. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the 1st Academy Awards with 7th Heaven and, the eventual winner, Wings. I thought the film was not as good as 7th Heaven. Overall, though, an entertaining silent film with good acting and dialogue. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member I really enjoyed this film. I think most people pass up silent pictures because they think they are silly and primitive, but this is one of the many that proves that theory wrong. The plot is solid throughout the the film and the acting is very well done. If you are a classic movie lover I recommend this film. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review steve d It works really well for a film this old. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Racket

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis In this Prohibition-era silent film, James McQuigg (Thomas Meighan) is an honest police captain in a city ruled by gangsters and corrupt politicians. McQuigg tries repeatedly to arrest Nick Scarsi (Louis Wolheim), a bootlegging kingpin, but can't get charges to stick. After rejecting Scarsi's bribes, the incorruptible McQuigg is transferred out of town, but refuses to be intimidated. When Scarsi's younger brother is caught in a hit-and-run, McQuigg attempts to take down the criminal underworld.
Director
Lewis Milestone
Distributor
Paramount Pictures
Production Co
Paramount
Genre
Crime, Drama
Release Date (Theaters)
Jun 30, 1928, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Sep 14, 2017
Runtime
1h 10m