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Racket Busters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Racket Busters
Directed byLloyd Bacon
Screenplay by
Produced bySamuel Bischoff[1]
CinematographyArthur Edeson[1]
Edited byJames Gibbon[1]
Music byAdolph Deutsch
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • July 16, 1938 (1938-07-16)
Running time
71 minutes
CountryUnited States[1]

Racket Busters is a 1938 American film directed by Lloyd Bacon. The film is stars Humphrey Bogart and George Brent and is about a crime in the trucking industry.

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Plot summary

Attorney Hugh Allison (Walter Abel) is appointed Special Prosecutor to investigate and strike down gangster John "Czar" Martin's (Humphrey Bogart) racketeering scheme in the trucking industry. This is Martin's first step in controlling New York's produce market. However, Alison is unable to get testimony from witnesses because of Martin's brutal coercion. Denny Jordan (George Brent), a popular and influential trucker, refuses to join Martin's gang, and his truck is vandalized, causing Jordan to crash his truck on the side of a hill. To provide for his pregnant wife Nora (Gloria Dickson), Jordan robs Martin's office but is caught. Martin agrees to forgive him if he joins his "protective association". Jordan reluctantly complies. This allows the other truckers to also join Martin's corrupt organization, while Allison begins jailing witnesses who refuse to testify. Jordan's oldest friend, Pop Wilson (Oscar O'Shea), is murdered after testifying against Martin, and Jordan's partner, "Skeets" Wilson (Allen Jenkins), quits trucking and begins selling tomatoes. Although Jordan is arrested by Allison and his wife leaves him, he refuses to testify against Martin. In a move to control the entire produce market, Martin incites the truckers to go on strike, thereby causing a food shortage, until every commission merchant and produce dealer join his association. But, Wilson refuses Martin's entreaties and is killed by his gang. Jordan then leads the truckers into breaking the strike, and a free-for-all breaks out between the truckers and the racketeers. Jordan defeats Martin in a hand-to-hand fight as the police arrive. Denny eventually testifies against Martin, leading to his conviction.



The film was based on the prosecution of real-life trucking racketeering schemes in New York City during Thomas E. Dewey's campaign against organized crime in the 1930s.[2][1]


Racket Busters was released on July 16, 1938.[1] According to the Hollywood Reporter the film's title was changed on its release in Paris to Threat Over the City so that the tennis fans would not think the film was about the sport.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Racket Busters". American Film Institute. Retrieved March 26, 2023.
  2. ^ Farris, Scott (2012). Almost president: the men who lost the race but changed the nation. Internet Archive. Guilford, CN: Lyons Press. p. 111-112. ISBN 978-0-7627-6378-8.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 June 2023, at 19:24
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