Pre Code Hollywood Season: FD Cinematheque
Racketeer, The (1929)
Director: Howard Higgin
Cast: Robert Armstrong, Carole Lombard, Roland Drew, Paul Hurst, Kit Guard, Al Hill, Hedda Hopper, John Loder, Jeanette Loff, Winter Hall, Winifred Harris, Robert Parrish
It tells the tale of some members of the criminal class in 1920s America, and in particular one man and one woman’s attempts to help him. Gossip columnist Hedda Hopper appears in a minor role. The film is one of the early talkies, and as a result, dialogue is very sparse.
New York City gangster Mahlon Keene (Robert Armstrong) melts when he meets down-on-her-luck beauty Rhoda (Carole Lombard), a society gal who’s in desperate need of dough to support herself and her boyfriend, Tony (Roland Drew), a brilliant violinist with a serious drinking problem.
Mahlon pulls some strings to help Tony get back on top; in return, Rhoda is to dump the musician and marry the mobster.
The already heated situation is further complicated when the cops decide to crack down on Mahlon.
- Robert Armstrong as Mahlon Keane
- Carole Lombard as Rhoda Philbrooke
- Roland Drew as Tony Vaughan
- Paul Hurst as Mehaffy – Policeman
- Kit Guard as Gus
- Al Hill as Squid
- Bobby Dunn as The Rat
- Budd Fine as Bernie Weber
- Hedda Hopper as Mrs. Karen Lee
- Jeanette Loff as Millie Chapman
- John Loder as Jack Oakhurst
- Winter Hall as Mr. Sam Chapman
- Winifred Harris as Mrs. Margaret Chapman
Film Collectors Corner
Watch The Racketeer Now – Amazon Instant Video
Not released on Blu Ray