Starring Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim and Marie Prevost
July 14, 1928

The Racket proves that Mr. Meighan has not lost any of his old acting ability, and that, given a good story, he can draw as big a number of people at the box office as he has always done. Last Sunday afternoon, there were lines three deep formed in front of the Paramount Theatre box office reaching about the block, on a day that was the hottest of the year, and when other theatres, excepting the Strand, where "Lights of New York" is playing, were starving to death.

"The Racket" is from the play of Bartlett Cormack; it has followed the play faithfully. Mr. Meighan, as the police captain, is as good as the character in the play. There is suspense throughout, tense at times. The acting of all the players is first class. Louis Wolheim, as the bootleg king, is very good. Marie Prevost is good, too as the cabaret entertainer who forces a confession from the bootleg king about the murder of a cop. John Darrow as the young cub reporter, furnishes most of the comedy. "Skeets" Gallagher, Lee Moran as the reporters; Sam De Grasse as the district attorney in the power of the bootleg king; George Stone as the bootleg king's "kid" brother; Burr McIntosh and others do good work as the supporting players.

The story is that of a Captain of police who is hampered in his exercise of duty. Every time he is on the trail of some murderer, powerful influences are used to save the guilty person from the clutches of the law. At last this influence is used against him and he is transferred to a precinct in the outskirts of the town where it was though he would be impotent to do any harm to the bootleg king or to any member of his gang. But a good man could not be kept down; he eventually catches the bootleg king, who has murdered another bootleg king in a net. While attempting to escape, the bootleg king is how to death by the assistant district attorney.

starring Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim and Marie Prevost
September 1928

This is a faithful reproduction of the stage play and proves again that what makes a thrilling play doesn't necessarily make a knockout mvoie. That is partly due to the casting. Louis Wolheim, for instance, plays the gang leader with comedy instead of the necessary menace. Even so, its a pretty good picture. Skeets Gallagher is fine as the reporter who says "Horses" and other things. And Marie Prevost in a blonde wig gives a faithful imitation of Phyllis Haver. It's the story of a police captain (Thomas Meighan) who, with the whole police department and all the political leaders against him, sets out to get one of Chicago's most respected crooks. A lot of dirt about the inside workings of politics in Chicago is revealed.

starring Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim and Marie Prevost
August, 1928

An underworld story of nightsticks, bootleg and bullets that presents Tommy Meighan in his most distinguished role since "The Miracle Man." It is a crook classic.

Louis Wolheim, as a bootlegging gunman, gives an interpretation that stands as a masterpiece. For suspense, grim humor and compelling characterization, this picture will be difficult to beat. Those who saw the play will discover little lost in its transfer, although a more comprehensive treatment is afforded by the screen. The role of Nick Scarsi is one of contemptible villainy, but Wolheim imbues it, through his imcomparable touch, with that subtle sympathy and fascination which, since time immemorial, have given glamour to the bad man. And in direct contrast, Meighan presents an up-standing Irish police captain who can't even SPELL the word "fear." This characterization should set the censors to cheering and should also stimulate much general respect for the arm of the law.

The story deals with the struggles of a lone cop to upset graft, political corruption and governmental rottenness that foster city-wide liquor rings and gang wars. Two rival booze barons embroil their forces in war in this captain's district. The love interest is superficial -- which proves that excellent photoplays can be made without love.

Every character in the picture is superb. Marie Preevost is marvelously hard-boiled, as per scenario requirements. The reporters are splendid. And a gold medal should be given Lewis Milestone for his effective direction. No one can afford to miss this.

For more information, see "The Racket" as our "Feature of the Month

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