The Racket

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Crime, USA, 1928, 84 min.

Synopsis Captain McQuigg, an honest Irish cop in Chicago, is targeted by a gunsel under the direction of bootlegger Nick Scarsi, but the gunman deliberately misses and Scarsi informs McQuiqq that it will behoove him to get along with him. McQuigg, rebuffing the crime boss, informs him that he hasn't yet had the chance to draw his own gun. Despite the brazen activities of his criminal empire and multiple murders committed by Nick and his gang, McQuigg can't bring Scarsi to justice due to political corruption. Whenever McQuigg puts Scarsi or one of his henchmen in jail, a lawyer is ready to gain their immediate release after a call to "The Old Man," the force behind "The Organization" running Chicago. It is enough to make McQuigg disgusted with The Law. After killing a rival bootlegger, Scarsi uses his political clout to have the incorruptible McQuigg removed from his part of town and exiled to the boondocks. McQuigg baits Scarsi through two members of the yellow press, claiming that he has been exiled as Scarsi is afraid of him. Scarsi has them inform McQuigg that he is waiting until after the upcoming election to deal with him. The worm turns on Scarsi when his beloved kid brother Joe, out on a joy ride with nightclub chanteuse Helen Hayes, runs over and kills a pedestrian in McQuigg' new precinct, a crime witnessed by one of McQuigg's own policemen and Helen herself. McQuigg takes the law into his own hands when he rebuffs the organizations' lawyer, tears the writ of habeas corpus up, jails the lawyer for public drunkenness and starting a fight, and puts Helen behind bars as she is not forthcoming with her testimony. The press, however, gets the story and The Organization springs Scarsi's brother. But there are still witnesses to the kid brother's crime, the policeman and Helen. Women have always been treated like "poison" by Scarsi, according to McQuigg. Helen had been viciously rebuffed by Scarsi when she tried to make time with his kid brother, but Joe was besotted. Not in love enough, however, after the accident, to spring her from the slammer, thus enraging her. Will this woman and the chain of events she has unleashed prove to be the Chicago crime boss' undoing? Will the better elements of the press do their duty as citizens and members of the Third Estate and bravely strand up for the American Way of Life? And how will The Organization, out to win next Tuesday's municipal elections and keep the reformers out of office, deal with all the bad publicity? Watch "The Racket" and find out!

Directed by Lewis Milestone  

Starring Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost, G. Pat Collins, Henry Sedley, more...

Movie awards
1928, Nominace na Oskara, Best picture

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