The Racket (1951) Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Ryan, William Talman Movie Review

The Racket (1951)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Robert Mitchum and Lizabeth Scott in The Racket (1951)

The Remake Racket

Nick Scanlon (Robert Ryan) is the most fearsome of mobsters because if his bribes don't work to put you in his pocket he is just as happy to turn to violence so that you will never get in his way again. With Scanlon having bribed several officials within the local government and police force it is hard to know who to trust but there is honest Tom McQuigg (Robert Mitchum) the new police captain who everyone knows is incorruptible and who sets about bringing Scanlon and his rackets down. When McQuigg convinces nightclub singer Irene Hayes (Lizabeth Scott) to testify against Scanlon he knows that he will need to not only protect her from Scanlon and his many connections but also his trusted assistant and his family.

Did you know that "The Racket" starring Robert Mitchum is a remake of a 1928 movie starring Thomas Meighan? I didn't and as a movie fan seeking entertainment it isn't important, something which many a movie fan could do with learning when they bemoan their favourite movie from their childhood being remade as in 20 or 30 years it won't make a scrap of difference.

Robert Ryan in The Racket (1951)

Anyway I get side tracked and so back to "The Racket" which when watched now with the one clean cop trying to bring down a gangster who has corrupt officials in his pocket makes you think of "The Untouchables". But "The Racket" isn't some big production and is in fact a rather routine movie which sees Robert Ryan turn on the menace as Scanlon whilst Robert Mitchum brings plenty of good guy to the screen without making the character of McQuigg a sap. Plus there is Lizabeth Scott smouldering as the sexy Irene Hayes. But everything about it is typical from people lurking in the shadows to listen in on others to Scanlon being ready to whack someone rather than pay them off.

Look, in all honesty "The Racket" isn't a bad movie and if you are a fan of any of the movie's stars it will probably be entertaining but there is nothing which makes this black & white crime story stands out from the crowd. And that is why you sort of find yourself struggling to stay focused on what is going on in the movie as it is all too familiar and typical.

What this all boils down to is that "The Racket" is simply one of those movies you can watch and not really realise you've watched it as there is nothing in this movie you won't have come across before. But for fans of Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and Lizabeth Scott it may entertain a little bit more.