The Racketeer


1h 6m 1929

Brief Synopsis

A young beauty marries a gangster to help her musician boyfriend's career.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Nov 9, 1929
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1
Film Length
6,119ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Mahlon Keene, a suave racketeer, notices Mehaffy, a policeman, arrest a shabby, drunken violinist for vagrancy and bribes him to forget the charge; after Keene and his henchman depart, Rhoda Philbrook appears in a taxi, addresses the musician as "Tony," and has him driven away. Meanwhile, Keene arranges for a planned robbery to be delayed. At a charity function, Keene takes an interest in Rhoda when he detects her cheating at cards; she reveals that she has left her husband for the violinist, whom she hopes to regenerate; and for Rhoda's sake Keene arranges for Tony's appearance at a concert. When threatened by Weber, a rival, Keene shoots him and, after the concert, bids farewell to Rhoda. The rival gang take revenge on Keene, leaving Tony and Rhoda to a new life together.

Photo Collections

The Racketeer - Title Lobby Card
Here is a Title Card from The Racketeer (1929), starring Robert Armstrong and Carole Lombard. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Nov 9, 1929
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1
Film Length
6,119ft (7 reels)

Articles

The Racketeer


Carole Lombard, having already served an apprenticeship with Mack Sennett in the slapstick shorts in which she learned comedy techniques, had yet to emerge as a brilliant comedienne when she signed a one-year contract with Pathé Films and made six films for that company. These movies, made during the transition from silents to the sound era, were minor productions that suffered from the awkwardness of the new technology. But Lombard, still spelling her name as "Carol," had prominent roles in each and was gaining further experience that would help in preparing for her breakthrough performance a few years later in Columbia's Twentieth Century (1934).

The final entry in Lombard's Pathé Films series was The Racketeer (1929), in which she has the lead as a divorcee torn between two men -- a concert violinist (Roland Drew) who has hit the skids and a suave gangster (Robert Armstrong) who has the power to arrange a career-saving concert for the violinist. True to form for a gangster movie, matters are resolved in a final shoot-out between cops and mobsters. The film, shown in the U.K. as Love's Conquest, runs only 66 minutes.

Armstrong, soon to gain fame as Carl Denham in King Kong (1933), was in four of Lombard's Pathé Films; the others were Show Folks (1928), Ned McCobb's Daughter (1928) and Big News (1929). The two shared a pleasant chemistry, especially in The Racketeer, in which Armstrong's character Mahlon adores Lombard's Rhoda. Future gossip columnist Hedda Hopper appears in a small role.

Cinematographer David Abel, who also shot Lombard in Show Folks and Ned McCobb's Daughter, shows the budding star to good advantage. (He would later photograph some of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musicals at RKO.) The new microphones limited camera movement, however, and The Racketeer frequently depends on dialogue more than action in telling its story.

Producer: Ralph Block
Director: Howard Higgin
Screenplay: Paul Gangelin, A.A. Kline
Cinematography: David Abel
Original Music: Josiah Zuro
Editing: Doane Harrison
Costume Design: Gwen Wakeling
Cast: Robert Armstrong (Mahlon Keane), Carole Lombard (Rhoda Philbrooke, billed as "Carol Lombard"), Roland Drew (Tony Vaughan), Jeanette Loff (Millie Chapman), John Loder (Jack Oakhurst), Hedda Hopper (Karen Lee).
BW-66m.

by Roger Fristoe
The Racketeer

The Racketeer

Carole Lombard, having already served an apprenticeship with Mack Sennett in the slapstick shorts in which she learned comedy techniques, had yet to emerge as a brilliant comedienne when she signed a one-year contract with Pathé Films and made six films for that company. These movies, made during the transition from silents to the sound era, were minor productions that suffered from the awkwardness of the new technology. But Lombard, still spelling her name as "Carol," had prominent roles in each and was gaining further experience that would help in preparing for her breakthrough performance a few years later in Columbia's Twentieth Century (1934). The final entry in Lombard's Pathé Films series was The Racketeer (1929), in which she has the lead as a divorcee torn between two men -- a concert violinist (Roland Drew) who has hit the skids and a suave gangster (Robert Armstrong) who has the power to arrange a career-saving concert for the violinist. True to form for a gangster movie, matters are resolved in a final shoot-out between cops and mobsters. The film, shown in the U.K. as Love's Conquest, runs only 66 minutes. Armstrong, soon to gain fame as Carl Denham in King Kong (1933), was in four of Lombard's Pathé Films; the others were Show Folks (1928), Ned McCobb's Daughter (1928) and Big News (1929). The two shared a pleasant chemistry, especially in The Racketeer, in which Armstrong's character Mahlon adores Lombard's Rhoda. Future gossip columnist Hedda Hopper appears in a small role. Cinematographer David Abel, who also shot Lombard in Show Folks and Ned McCobb's Daughter, shows the budding star to good advantage. (He would later photograph some of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musicals at RKO.) The new microphones limited camera movement, however, and The Racketeer frequently depends on dialogue more than action in telling its story. Producer: Ralph Block Director: Howard Higgin Screenplay: Paul Gangelin, A.A. Kline Cinematography: David Abel Original Music: Josiah Zuro Editing: Doane Harrison Costume Design: Gwen Wakeling Cast: Robert Armstrong (Mahlon Keane), Carole Lombard (Rhoda Philbrooke, billed as "Carol Lombard"), Roland Drew (Tony Vaughan), Jeanette Loff (Millie Chapman), John Loder (Jack Oakhurst), Hedda Hopper (Karen Lee). BW-66m. by Roger Fristoe

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