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Smashing the Rackets (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 19 August 1938 (USA)
Jim 'Socker' Conway, former boxer and FBI hero, is maneuvered for political reasons into a do-nothing job in the district attorney's office. Meanwhile, he meets wild debutante Letty Lane, ... See full summary »

Director:

Lew Landers

Writers:

Forrest Davis (article), Lionel Houser
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Chester Morris ... Jim 'Sock' Conway
Frances Mercer ... Susan 'Pat' Lane
Rita Johnson ... Letty Lane
Bruce Cabot ... Steve Lawrence
Edward Pawley ... Chin Martin
Joe De Stefani Joe De Stefani ... Franz (as Joseph De Stefani)
Donald Douglas ... Harry Spaulding (as Don Douglas)
Kay Sutton ... Peggy
Ben Welden ... Whitey Clark
Paul Fix ... Maxie
Eddie Acuff ... Joe - Hoodlum (as Edward Acuff)
George Irving ... District Attorney Edward Greer
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Storyline

Jim 'Socker' Conway, former boxer and FBI hero, is maneuvered for political reasons into a do-nothing job in the district attorney's office. Meanwhile, he meets wild debutante Letty Lane, girlfriend of mob mouthpiece Steve Lawrence; and Letty's much nicer sister Susan. Now the slot machine gang brutally beats Jim's friends Franz and Otto. And Jim finds a way to use his nominal position to go into the racket- busting business. But his success puts Letty in deadly peril... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gangsternes skrekk See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Loosely based on the career of New York D.A. Thomas E. Dewey. See more »

Quotes

Susan "Pat" Lane: What does F.B.I. stand for? Feeling Brutally Inclined?
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User Reviews

 
Things are complicated for Chester Morris in his personal and professional life
11 October 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Smashing The Rackets casts Chester Morris as a square jawed hero who is a combination of Thomas E. Dewey and Melvin Purvis. An FBI agent like Purvis who reaped a lot of publicity by taking down public enemies like John Dillinger and BabyFace Nelson, Morris decides to leave the FBI and practice law as he was trained to do. He takes a job with District Attorney George Irving who believes that Morris's presence on his staff is worth a lot of votes.

Not that he's looking for real work out of Morris because Irving is in the pocket of the crime syndicate. Nevertheless Morris proves to be quite resourceful and brings down several racketeers.

The most elusive of these is Bruce Cabot who is a smooth talking white shoe type lawyer, but who in reality is Mister Kingpin in that city of all the rackets. Cabot is a cunning and resourceful foe and Morris's job is made complicated by the fact that Morris is courting Frances Mercer of the society set, her sister Rita Johnson is running around with Cabot for kicks. Cabot has the best role by far in the film. In fact it's one of the best performances I ever saw him give.

Dewey and Purvis were role models for a slew of films in the Thirties though Smashing The Rackets is the first I ever saw that combined their characters. This is a well constructed film with a good story line that gives a bit of a twist in the ending.


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