Racket Busters (1938)

65 or 71 mins | Drama | 16 July 1938

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Producer:

Sam Bischoff

Cinematographer:

Arthur Edeson

Editor:

James Gibbon

Production Designer:

Esdras Hartley

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

An onscreen introduction reads, "Based upon official court records of the special rackets prosecution of the trucking racket in New York City." According to a news item in HR , the title was changed to Threat Over the City for release in Paris so that the tennis-mad Parisians would not think the film was about their favorite ... More Less

An onscreen introduction reads, "Based upon official court records of the special rackets prosecution of the trucking racket in New York City." According to a news item in HR , the title was changed to Threat Over the City for release in Paris so that the tennis-mad Parisians would not think the film was about their favorite sport. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Aug 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Oct 38
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 38
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 38
pp. 10-11.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
28 May 38
p. 58.
Motion Picture Herald
20 Aug 38
p. 47.
New York Times
11 Aug 38
p. 13.
Variety
17 Aug 38
p. 23.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Cosmopolitan Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Contr to trmt
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
SOUND
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 July 1938
Production Date:
late April--late May 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 June 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8168
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65 or 71
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4401
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Hugh Allison, a lawyer with a reputation for putting gangsters in jail, is asked by the city to break up the trucking rackets. In response to his appointment, the racketeers, led by John Martin, crack down on the truckers, using brutal attacks to force them to join their organization. Allison runs into resistance, however, when he interviews the restaurant and business owners that are the victims of the racketeers. No one wants to speak out against the gangsters. Skeets Wilson and Denny Jordan are partners in a small trucking business. They are holdouts against the Martin organization, but when Pop, the owner of the garage, is beaten by the gangsters, Skeets decides to leave the trucking business and sell tomatoes. Soon Denny is the target of attacks. After his pregnant wife Nora is threatened, Denny sends her to the country for her safety. Because his business has been ruined by the gangsters, Denny steals money from the trucking association to pay for her lodging. That night when he returns home, he finds Martin's men waiting for him. They tell him he can keep the money but he must join their organization, and he finally gives in to their demands. Allison questions Denny, but he refuses to tell him anything. When Pop is killed by the gang, Nora tells Denny that he is in the wrong and has lost her respect. Allison arrests Denny, and when he will not testify against the gang he is sent to jail. Martin sends the truckers out on strike in order to close down the market and a city-wide food shortage results. Skeets ... +


Hugh Allison, a lawyer with a reputation for putting gangsters in jail, is asked by the city to break up the trucking rackets. In response to his appointment, the racketeers, led by John Martin, crack down on the truckers, using brutal attacks to force them to join their organization. Allison runs into resistance, however, when he interviews the restaurant and business owners that are the victims of the racketeers. No one wants to speak out against the gangsters. Skeets Wilson and Denny Jordan are partners in a small trucking business. They are holdouts against the Martin organization, but when Pop, the owner of the garage, is beaten by the gangsters, Skeets decides to leave the trucking business and sell tomatoes. Soon Denny is the target of attacks. After his pregnant wife Nora is threatened, Denny sends her to the country for her safety. Because his business has been ruined by the gangsters, Denny steals money from the trucking association to pay for her lodging. That night when he returns home, he finds Martin's men waiting for him. They tell him he can keep the money but he must join their organization, and he finally gives in to their demands. Allison questions Denny, but he refuses to tell him anything. When Pop is killed by the gang, Nora tells Denny that he is in the wrong and has lost her respect. Allison arrests Denny, and when he will not testify against the gang he is sent to jail. Martin sends the truckers out on strike in order to close down the market and a city-wide food shortage results. Skeets intervenes and is shot and killed after he rouses the truckers against the gang. Denny witnesses the murder and can no longer stand aside. He sees Martin escaping and helps to capture him. He finally agrees to testify and his courage sets an example for the other men, with the result that Martin is sent to jail. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Gangster


Subject
Subject (Major):

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.