The Racket (1951)

  • Produced by Howard Hughes. Interesting.
  • Y’all, sometimes I forget if a movie I’ve recorded is supposed to be really good, or kind of bad. This mostly happens when the movie has James Stewart, Robert Montgomery, Constance Bennett, or Robert Mitchum in it, because I record literally everything those people were ever in. This movie has Robert Mitchum in it. Therefore, it might be terrible (obviously not the Mitchum parts – but the rest). (Edit: I re-looked up the IMdB rating, which is a 6.8. Eh. I think we’re okay.)
  • Scanlon (Robert Ryan) looks pretty goddamn suave in his collared shirt & bathrobe. I wonder if anyone ever looked as powerful & intimidating in a spotted bathrobe as Robert Ryan does in this. I somehow doubt it.
  • The costumer on this movie (Michael Woulfe) did a hell of a job. You can tell Higgins (Howland Chamberlain) is the informer based on the way he is dressed. Like…when he walks into the room for the first time, your head just goes, “Oh. Figures.” That’s fantastic costume work.
  • Johnson (William Talman) just told his wife he wants 6 kids. Easy there, slugger. 6 is wayyy too ambitious of a number for someone who currently has zero.
  • What the shit?! Scanlon’s brother Joe gets engaged to Lizbeth Scott, and Scanlon’s reaction is to slap his brother like…8 consecutive times, then demand all of his money AND his car keys. Yeah…that’s a normal, brotherly reaction to engagement news.
  • Oh dang! McQuigg (Mitchum)’s house just got THE BIG HEATed! Except his wife didn’t die, and since this movie came out two years before that one…the reality of the situation is that Glenn Ford & Jocelyn Brando got THE RACKETed. (Just so we’re clear.)
  • Well – this is a noir, alright. In the rooftop fight scene between McQuigg & (who knows who the other guy is – it’s too goddamn dark), you can barely make out what’s happening. Thanks, night shadows!
  • Sweet! Mystery man (the bad guy) just got McQuigged off the roof! I’ll take it.
  • Mitchum just kicked down Scanlon’s outer door, completely unnecessarily. What a badass.
  • Who the fuck is this “Old Man” they keep talking about? I mean – clearly he’s the crime leader – but like…who is he? And why doesn’t he have a cooler nickname than “The Old Man”?
  • Mitchum/Scott have some mad chemistry. Too bad McQuigg’s lame wife is a thing.
  • Oh, Jesus – they printed Johnson’s address in the article about him arresting Joe?! Get your pregnant wife to a safe house or something, Johnson! Scoot!
  • Johnson’s reporter friend (Dave, played by Robert Hutton) is a dolt & annoying as hell. Shut up about Irene, already! My guess is he’ll bite it soon…and I will mostly be okay with it.
  • Liked the way the scene at the police station between Johnson & Scanlon was written. Could have lasted a little bit longer, I think – had a little more suspense – but still, a good scene.
  • Ha! Nice touch, Scanlon driving through the Judge Welsh sign & having it fall down into the road.
  • Poor Johnson. Such valiancy!
  • “Dave? Do you hate me?” — Irene

I’ve heard some dumb questions in my day, Irene, and that is BY FAR the dumbest.

  • Relatedly, Dave & Irene (Scott) have ZERO chemistry. Such a shame.
  • Train: 1, Nick: 0.

I love it when trains win!

  • Bad. Ass. Lizbeth Scott’s like, ‘You want a confession? I’ll get you a goddamn confession!’ Her slapping Scanlon was marvelous.
  • Nice ending. Tidy, but with some twists.
  • Oh, also – I loved William Conrad as Turk. He was outstanding.

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