The Racketeer

  • 1929
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

A very early gangster talkie which relied so heavily on the new technology that nothing much happens but talk, talk, and more talk. Unfortunately, none of it is worth listening to. Lombard plays an attractive young woman who catches the eye of fast-talking, well-dressed, and cultured gangster Armstrong. To win her over, Armstrong offers to help her alcoholic...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Rating:

A very early gangster talkie which relied so heavily on the new technology that nothing much happens but talk, talk, and more talk. Unfortunately, none of it is worth listening to. Lombard plays an attractive young woman who catches the eye of fast-talking, well-dressed, and cultured

gangster Armstrong. To win her over, Armstrong offers to help her alcoholic boy friend, Drew, who is a failed classical violinist. With Armstrong's financial assistance, Drew is able to perform a high visibility concert and get the recognition his talents deserve. In return, Lombard reluctantly

agrees to marry the gangster after the performance. Before the concert is over, one of Armstrong's goons kills the leader of a rival gang. Assuming Armstrong ordered the hit, the police invade the concert hall and try to arrest the gangster. Armstrong refuses to be taken in and a gun battle breaks

out, leading to the hoodlum's death. With Armstrong dead, Lombard can now marry her true love, Drew. Stodgy in all respects, THE RACKETEER is a routine, melodramatic crime story that may have been better served on the stage. All the action takes place off-screen with the characters returning

before the cameras to talk about the interesting things they have done. The viewer is given little indication of gangster Armstrong's power or influence in the underworld and must rely on the character's own self-aggrandizing nature. Lombard is competent in a thankless role, and Drew is simply

fodder for the plot elements, lending no life to his part. Drew is so ineffectual that one wonders why Lombard doesn't opt for the more vital Armstrong voluntarily. For fans interested in the genesis of the gangster genre only.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A very early gangster talkie which relied so heavily on the new technology that nothing much happens but talk, talk, and more talk. Unfortunately, none of it is worth listening to. Lombard plays an attractive young woman who catches the eye of fast-talking… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »