Smashing the Rackets (1938)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama

Smashing the Rackets (1938) Poster

Jim 'Socker' Conway, former boxer and FBI hero, is maneuvered for political reasons into a do-nothing job in the district attorney's office. Meanwhile, he meets wild debutante Letty Lane, ... See full summary »

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  • Frances Mercer and Chester Morris in Smashing the Rackets (1938)
  • Scotty Beckett in Smashing the Rackets (1938)
  • Tom London, Rita Johnson, Frances Mercer, Chester Morris, and Kay Sutton in Smashing the Rackets (1938)
  • Bruce Cabot, Rita Johnson, and Chester Morris in Smashing the Rackets (1938)
  • Bruce Cabot, Rita Johnson, Frances Mercer, and Chester Morris in Smashing the Rackets (1938)
  • Brooks Benedict, Bruce Cabot, George Irving, Chester Morris, Edward Pawley, and Edward LeSaint in Smashing the Rackets (1938)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Lew Landers


Forrest Davis (article), Lionel Houser

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

11 October 2012 | bkoganbing
| Things are complicated for Chester Morris in his personal and professional life
Smashing The Rackets casts Chester Morris as a square jawed hero who is a combination of Thomas E. Dewey and Melvin Purvis. An FBI agent like Purvis who reaped a lot of publicity by taking down public enemies like John Dillinger and BabyFace Nelson, Morris decides to leave the FBI and practice law as he was trained to do. He takes a job with District Attorney George Irving who believes that Morris's presence on his staff is worth a lot of votes.

Not that he's looking for real work out of Morris because Irving is in the pocket of the crime syndicate. Nevertheless Morris proves to be quite resourceful and brings down several racketeers.

The most elusive of these is Bruce Cabot who is a smooth talking white shoe type lawyer, but who in reality is Mister Kingpin in that city of all the rackets. Cabot is a cunning and resourceful foe and Morris's job is made complicated by the fact that Morris is courting Frances Mercer of the society set, her sister Rita Johnson is running around with Cabot for kicks. Cabot has the best role by far in the film. In fact it's one of the best performances I ever saw him give.

Dewey and Purvis were role models for a slew of films in the Thirties though Smashing The Rackets is the first I ever saw that combined their characters. This is a well constructed film with a good story line that gives a bit of a twist in the ending.

Critic Reviews

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Plot Summary


Crime | Drama


Release Date:

19 August 1938



Country of Origin


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