What's Your Racket
Cast & Crew
J. Carrol Naish
A poker game at the palatial home of racketeer Dick Graves is interrupted by a sound from the library. Upon seeing the safe open and a figure appearing to be a boy escape across the lawn and into a car, Graves and his henchman, Jimmie Dean, pursue the thief. When police join the chase, the gangsters use a smoke screen device, but their car overturns. The thief, whose car is also wrecked, is chased into a gas station by Jimmie, but is then rescued by Bert Miller, who fights Jimmie and takes the thief into his car. The thief, actually an attractive girl, Mae Cosgrove, wearing boy's clothing, refuses to tell Bert her identity, but she agrees to a date. At home, she hides the stolen money in a candy box. Bert learns that Mae is a hostess at a nightclub owned by Benton, a racket leader. After seeing Graves, Jimmie and Mae enter the club, Bert listens at a door as Graves, who thinks that Mae and Benton may be in cahoots against him, voices his suspicions to Benton that Mae robbed him. Benton says he does not believe it. Bert is apprehended after a fight and is locked in the storeroom. Mae is able to release him when Graves and Benton are preoccupied with detectives investigating the wrecked cars of Graves and the thief. Graves's suspicions of Mae are further reinforced when Jimmie finds that the thief's roadster had been rented by a young girl. He and Jimmie find boy's clothes in Mae's apartment, and as they are taking them to Benton for proof, she and Bert, who suspects that Mae is a gangster's moll, arrive and surreptitiously watch them. Graves demands that Benton prove he is innocent by setting a trap for Mae; they will leave $20,000 in the club's safe and remark to Mae that the money is to pay for a liquor shipment. Mae proceeds to rob the safe the next night, and she is about to be apprehended by Graves, Jimmie and Benton, when Bert rescues her. Bert and Mae speed away with the racketeers chasing and the police pursuing them. After a police bullet hits the driver of the gangster's car, it tumbles over a cliff, and Bert and Mae are apprehended and taken to police headquarters. Mae reveals that she took the nightclub job to get evidence to show that Graves and Benton framed her father, who is serving time for the robbery of a bank where he worked. After Bert reveals that he is a detective, they inquire where they can get a marriage license and embrace.
J. Carrol Naish
Some sources call this film What's Your Racket? The film is listed in Motion Picture Herald release charts as having a December 1, 1933 release date and being 70 minutes in length. It was not reviewed until March 1934, when it played in New York; the running time in reviews for this engagement was listed as 50 minutes in Variety and 64 minutes in Film Daily. Sources conflict concerning the middle initial of the man credited with the original story; it is given variously as "E" and "R." Sources also conflict concerning two details of the plot: Mae's father is called both a bank employee and a bank executive, and Bert is called both a private detective and a police officer.