6.3/10
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2 user 2 critic

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

This movie was banned from public showing in Sweden by the Swedish censorship board in September 1938. Censorship number 58.269. See more »

Quotes

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

 
The Rackets Try To Smash Back
16 October 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Chester Morris is a gun-toting G-Man who gets a chance to be a straight lawyer for the D.A.'s office. He's bored and wasted, bailing out playgirls for his boss and handed no-win cases. When the father watches his son's murderers walk, Morris calls some of his old friends and beat a guy until one of the racketeers confesses. This convinces the powers-that-be that he's the man to run a special investigation.

It's an astonishingly brutal movie for 1938, not just for the violence. That was standard for the issue, and the standard lampshading applied. You never saw the gun being fired and the victim crumpling in the same shot. No, the brutality, and the thing that makes me wonder how it got past the censors under Joe Breen, is the disrespect it shows to the authorities, stating plainly that legal investigation won't get the job done, with the shoot-out that kills the villains and sets the world a-right inevitable. There's signs of brutalizing hoods and so forth. It's clear to me that the Hays Office let this one slide past The Swedish censors were not so accommodating. They turned down a license for its exhibition.

Otherwise, a standard affair, with Chester Morris looking like Dick Tracy.


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