Production Company: The Caddo Company
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Top Billed Actors: Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost
IMDb Rating: 7.0
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 0 Oscars
Nominated for 1 more:
Plot: A police captain and crime lord see who wields the biggest stick.
There were a few good things to take away from this film. The action scenes involving shootouts and suspenseful moments were well directed. The lead actors had good chemistry and it was great to see who would come out on top in the end. I did enjoy a bit of the writing too, especially in the lead up to the final scene of the film. Thomas Meighan's character, the police captain, sets up a plan to finally get Wolheim's character once and for all. Because this plan is not laid out in the title cards, the viewer is somewhat in the dark about how Meighan intends to execute this objective. Meighan's smug look on his face demonstrated the character's confidence. The clash of both leads' confidences made interesting exchanges between the two throughout.
With the precedence being set by Underworld (1927), the crime genre of film would soon sweep the movie scene. However, where Underworld succeeded, The Racket comes up short. The acting was not bad, but it was not up to the standards of the movies I have seen for these first Awards. The plot was rather dull as well. The female character, played by Marie Prevost, was rather annoying and only moved the plot along in one instance. A semi-romance developed between her and a reporter and it seemed way off topic. Meighan's police captain character was also too cocky. The aforementioned smug look remained on his face for the entire film and it became very irksome.
Overall, The Racket is not the best early crime film. The plot plods along, with not much character development. If you are looking for the roots of this popular genre of film, Underworld (which won Best Writing (Story) in these first Awards) is a much better option.
My Score: 6/10