Race Street

  • 1948
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

San Francisco bookmaker Raft decides to abandon his lucrative life of crime and go straight. His plan includes a marriage proposal to Maxwell, the widow of a WW II hero. Raft's blissful retirement is interrupted, however, when he learns that his pal, Morgan, a fellow bookie, has been murdered by East Coast mobsters trying to start a protection racket. Vowing...read more

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San Francisco bookmaker Raft decides to abandon his lucrative life of crime and go straight. His plan includes a marriage proposal to Maxwell, the widow of a WW II hero. Raft's blissful retirement is interrupted, however, when he learns that his pal, Morgan, a fellow bookie, has been

murdered by East Coast mobsters trying to start a protection racket. Vowing revenge, Raft decides to smash the gang by himself. Enter Bendix, Raft's boyhood friend who is now a police detective. Bendix tries to convince Raft that joining forces with him would hasten justice. Distrustful of Bendix

and still operating on the underworld ethic (i.e., he's no stool pigeon), Raft refuses to work with the cop and sets out on his own. Thinking that Maxwell is the only person he can trust, he is shocked to learn that she is actually married to the head of the mob, Faylen, to whom she has been

funneling information. Realizing now that Bendix was right, Raft agrees to help the police. Together the men manage to expose the hoods, but during a violent fistfight, Raft sees Bendix about to be shot by a gangster and sacrifices his life for his friend. Raft dies knowing that his friend Morgan

has been avenged. This is an average crime film which sees Raft in a genuinely sympathetic light. Though firmly entrenched in the underworld, albeit a nonviolent area of it, Raft is shown to be an honorable, loyal friend whose heart is in the right place. Though he tries to change his life, he

cannot abandon those ties which made him rich. Fate, and Hollywood, insist he die for his crimes in the end, despite the fact he wasn't such a bad guy. RACE STREET came during the decline of Raft's career. In his early 50s, the actor found his popularity with the public and studios waning. Though

his name was still a box-office draw, he had fallen from superstar status and was forced to work for low-budget independent producers. Considered by Hollywood and the public as a leftover icon of the 1930s, Raft had trouble moving on to new territory as his contemporaries Edward G. Robinson,

Humphrey Bogart, and James Cagney had done. In fact, Raft's costar in RACE STREET, Bendix, got the better notices from critics while Raft's performance was practically dismissed. In the next few years allegations of Raft's involvement with real-life mobsters would throw more water on the

smoldering ashes of his movie career.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: San Francisco bookmaker Raft decides to abandon his lucrative life of crime and go straight. His plan includes a marriage proposal to Maxwell, the widow of a WW II hero. Raft's blissful retirement is interrupted, however, when he learns that his pal, Morga… (more)

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