30 May 2018 | boblipton
Give This One the Axe
Victor McLaglen is a Big City Gang leader, with fingers in sports and politics and every shady deal. When a reform candidate threatens his rackets and competitor Stanley Fields starts muscling in on his terrirtory, McLaglen comes up with a new source of revenue: he'll buy a college and make money off football games!
RACKETY RAX is one of those high concept ideas that must have sounded good when it was pitched to Fox' rapidly disintegrating management, and then handed off to Alfred Werker to direct -- just up from the westerns. Lowbrow hoods on campus! Trench warfare on the gridiron! Unfortunately, they seem to have stretched what might have been a funny if bizarre two-reeler into five reels, and left a lot of talent with little to do. Werker doesn't seem to be able to time much of anything for comedy and a lot of McLaglen's line readings seem even awkwarder than his malapropism-prone character calls for. Only Alan Dinehart, as McLaglen's lawyer who only cares about chasing skirt, handles his one-note character well.