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The Racket [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Lizabeth Scott, William Talman
  • Directors: John Cromwell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Feb. 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047WU35E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,869 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Mobster Nick Scanlon (Robert Ryan) has bribed several local government and law-enforcement officials to make it easy for him to carry out his rackets; and those that can t be bought, are ruthlessly rubbed out. But the arrival of a new police captain, the maverick, incorruptible Tom McQuigg (Robert Mitchum) spells danger for Scanlon s mob. With the city s prosecuting attorney and police detective Turk (William Conrad of Canon fame) in Scanlon s employ, McQuigg's attempts to clean up the city are doomed to failure, until he persuades a sexy nightclub singer Irene Hayes (Lizabeth Scott) to testify against Scanlon. But can McQuigg prevent Irene and his honest officers from the revenge of the mob?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD
The Racket is a remake of the 1928 film of the same name, itself based on a popular Bartlett Cormack play. With Howard Hughes backing the production it was beset with a number of problems, interference and a few director changes were prominent and the script was tampered with to try and capture the zeitgeist of the Kefauver Committee Hearings that were running prominently at the time. Plot in basic form pitches Robert Mitchum's honest police captain against Robert Ryan's no good crime boss, and the location is some corrupt American city (almost certainly Chicago).

At the time of its making, the film had a cast list that cried out as a roll for film noir/crime movie big hitters: Robert Mitchum (Out of the Past), Robert Ryan (Crossfire), Lizabeth Scott (Pitfall) and William Talman (Armoured Car Robbery), while in support there was the likes of William Conrad (The Killers), Ray Collins (Leave Her to Heaven) and Virginia Huston (also Out of the Past). Even looking at the directors who contributed on the production sees some fine genre credentials: John Cromwell (Dead Reckoning), Nicholas Ray (In a lonely Place), Mel Ferrer (The Secret Fury) and Tay Garnett (The Postman Always Rings Twice). But too many cooks can often spoil the broth, such is the case here.

Solid enough story that's unspectacular in its execution, a choppy yet just about watchable experience, and certainly a softer crime movie than it really ought to have been. It has often been coined as being a hard-hitting melodrama, but the decent thriller sequences are cloaked by a narrative that actually doesn't flow with any conviction. There's also the odd casting of Mitchum as a good guy to get around, and the film doesn't achieve that, namely because Mitchum plays it distinctly unenthusiastically.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For all film noir fans, the 1951 film 'The Racket' is a surefire must have.

Starring two of Hollywood's great actors in opposing roles, Robert Mitchum as Police Captain Tom McQuigg, a good, honest cop, moved from Precinct to Precinct because he is straight and 'won't look the other way' when foul deeds are perpetrated, he is opposed by Robert Ryan as Nick Scanlon, a ruthless mobster with a poisonous network of doers, who 'run errands,' at his behest.

The plot starts with the Senate Crime Committee, which has met and decided that their city needs cleaning up of corrupt officials and organised criminal rackets that threaten to move in. The city's Chief Prosecutor bravely asserts he will act with hard evidence, which will be not easy to get hold of.

Set into this inferno of sleaze, is Captain Tom McQuigg, an honest and ruthless Police Detective, who is not afraid to kick in doors, even if that door belongs to Nick Scanlon - and he does kick in Scanlon's door. McQuigg cannot be bought off or warned off - it takes very direct, personal action against his home for Mc Quigg to know that Scanlon has fallen for the bait.

When ambitious Police Officer Johnson lifts Scanlon's brother for autocrime, Nick is in a cleft stick - whether to bail out his brother who wants to marry a showgirl, despite Nick paying for fancy college education for his brother, or let justice be done. With the ever present Scanlon lackey Davis producing writs on Scanlon's behalf at the drop of a hat, it looks like McQuigg is going to have a difficult job keeping anyone behind bars or out of circulation.
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Format: DVD
The first couple of reels may be tough going, but once you get past the lunking Howard Hughes-imposed Nicholas Ray-directed prologue, The Racket turns into a surprisingly engaging and gripping crime drama. Structurally it's certainly unusual, probably as a result of Hughes' typical interference - it's more than 17 minutes before Mitchum makes his entrance, and there are some sporadically awkward crosscuts to inserts shot by Ray and others after John Cromwell (who co-starred in the play the film was based on in the 1920s) had left. Robert Ryan is surprisingly not quite there for once: not exactly bad, but somewhere between phoning it in and, in his early scenes at least, possibly drunk on set - his timing is slightly askew, his usual excellent instincts abandoned along with his sense of proportion in moments that are just a little over the top. But there's so much to admire that even the unlikely escalation of the feud between the two protagonists is carried along. There's a fine shootout in a garage, a neat car chase that sees the cops plough through a billboard for a mob-backed political candidate and a terrific death scene at the end. The supporting cast are intriguing too, with William Conrad's cop and Ray Collins' DA both corrupt but not so entirely that they're lost causes: they exist in a gray area that throws the leads into sharper relief.

Eddie Mueller's audio commentary on the Region 1 NTSC DVD that's part of Warner's Film Noir Classic Collection Volume Three is quite excellent and well worth listening to, but is absent from the UK PAL DVD.
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