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The Gold Racket

The Gold Racket(1937)

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As gold prices reach $35 an ounce, gold smugglers from Mexico kill a federal officer in a car chase. At the Bureau of Investigation in San Francisco, Federal Officer Dixon meets with Mexican official Ricardo about the problem. They question mine owner McKenzie, who pleads no knowledge of any smuggling. Dixon sends for Agent Alan O'Connor, who is at an amusement park with his assistant, Bobbie Reynolds. When Alan and Bobbie learn of a third agent's death, they head back to the office. McKenzie, the actual boss of the smugglers, complains to his assistant, Fraser, about the killings and orders him to hire pilot Steve Williams to fly the gold into the United States. Back at the office, Alan is assigned to the smuggling case without Bobbie. His only clue is a bar of gold. Alan takes the gold to an assayer, where he is followed by two of McKenzie's men, Lefty and Joe. That night, the assayer tells Alan that the gold is from the Los Moradas region of Mexico. Lefty and Joe attempt to kidnap Alan, only to be foiled in a shootout with other federal agents. Alan travels to the Cafe LaTarantella in Las Moradas, run by would-be opera singer Scotty Summers. Pretending to be a mining investor, Alan spies Steve, a big spender and ladies' man, and sends for Bobbie, landing her a job at the cafe as a singer. Steve immediately falls for Bobbie. Alan steals a nugget of gold from Steve's pocket and discovers it is the same type as the smuggled gold. Fraser arrives at the mine and warns Doc Johnson that a federal man is on their heels and that they must pull out that night. When Steve tells Bobbie that he must go away on business, she threatens to return to San Francisco if he doesn't take her with him. Alan searches Steve's room as Doc and Fraser arrive, but escapes through the window. Realizing that Steve is smuggling gold for the Los Moradas Mining Company, Alan visits the company office seeking investment possibilities. Meeting with McKenzie, Alan sees a map linking Las Moradas to Winston, California. Alan goes to Winston where he sets up camp just outside the Yellow Paradise Mine. Afraid of losing Bobbie, Steve tells her to meet him in Winston as well, where she visits Alan at his camp. When Alan visits the mine, Doc recognizes him from the cafe in Mexico. While Alan returns to town to get assistance, Doc and the gang kidnap Bobbie from Alan's camp. Realizing the gold in Steve's plane is the only evidence against them, the gang attempts to signal Steve not to land, but Alan and the other federal agents foil their plan. Alan convinces Steve to help capture the gang by showing the agents the secret entrance into the mine. In the ensuing shootout, Steve is killed saving Bobbie's life. Leaving Winston, Alan and Bobbie are offered a ride to San Francisco by taxi driver Hinkle, whose car is in chronic disrepair. Alan offers him five dollars to bury the taxi.