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Racket Busters (1938, Humphrey Bogart, George Brent)



This classic hard-boiled Warner gangster drama is based on court records of a trucking racket in New York City. Bogart dominates the trucking business, demanding protection money. Brent and his partner Jenkins refuse to give in until Bogart’s brutality makes them buckle. But new D.A. Abel makes use of Brent’s bitterness to score a direct hit on the rackets.

Racket Busters writer Robert Rossen went on to become the writer/director of such powerhouse dramas as Body and Soul (1947) and All the King?s Men (1949). In 1951 he was blacklisted.


Humphrey Bogart (John “Czar” Martin), George Brent (Denny Jordan), Gloria Dickson (Nora Jordan), Allen Jenkins (Skeets Wilson), Walter Abel (Hugh Allison), Henry O’Neill (Governor), Penny Singleton (Gladys Christie), Anthony Averill (Dave Crane), Oscar O’Shea (Pop Wilson), Elliott Sullivan (Charlie Smith), Fay Helm (Mrs. Charlie Smith), Joe Downing (Joe Pender), Norman Willis (Gus Hawkins), Don Rowan (Cliff Kimball), Irving Bacon (Counter Man (uncredited)), Egon Brecher (Peters (uncredited)), Nat Carr (Merchant (uncredited)), Glen Cavender (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Eddy Chandler (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Loia Cheaney (Angry Woman At Strike (uncredited)), Harvey Clark (Merchant (uncredited)), Georgie Cooper (Woman On Platform (uncredited)), Mary Currier (Mrs. Hugh Allison (uncredited)), William B. Davidson (Trucking Chairman (uncredited)), Alan Davis (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Joe De Stefani (Proprietor (uncredited)), Joe Devlin (Truck Driver (uncredited)), John Dilson (Mr. Robbins (uncredited)), Jack Gardner (Gas Station Attendant (uncredited)), Jack A. Goodrich (Clerk (uncredited)), William Gould (Police Sergeant (uncredited)), Harrison Greene (Merchant (uncredited)), John Harron (Allison’s Stenographer (uncredited)), Gordon Hart (Minister (uncredited)), Lew Harvey (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Herbert Heywood (Gas Station Owner (uncredited)), Jan Holm (Cotwald Sanitarium Nurse (uncredited)), Stuart Holmes (Vic Thompson (uncredited)), Paul Irving (John H. Herbert (uncredited)), Frank Jaquet (City Hospital Doctor #1 (uncredited)), Jack Kenney (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Ethan Laidlaw (Martin’s Henchman (uncredited)), Vera Lewis (Jordan’s Neighbor (uncredited)), George Lloyd (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Jean Maddox (Angry Woman at Strike (uncredited)), Bruce Mitchell (Deputy (uncredited)), Jack Mower (Plainclothesman (uncredited)), Harry Myers (Court Stenographer (uncredited)), James Nolan (Jim Smith (uncredited)), Wedgwood Nowell (Business Man (uncredited)), Jimmy O’Gatty (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Paul Panzer (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Bob Perry (Truck Driver (uncredited)), James Pierce (Martin’s Henchman (uncredited)), Dick Rich (Truck Driver Sick of Pop (uncredited)), John Ridgely (Yellow Stripe Truck Driver (uncredited)), Cliff Saum (Policeman (uncredited)), Edwin Stanley (Cotwald Sanitarium Doctor #2 (uncredited)), Robert Strange (Martin’s Lawyer (uncredited)), Harry Tenbrook (Martin’s Henchman (uncredited)), Charles Trowbridge (Martin’s Trial Judge #2 (uncredited)), Don Turner (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Dale van Sickel (Special Officer (uncredited)), Monte Vandergrift (Detective (uncredited)), Dick Wessel (Truck Driver (uncredited)), Cecil Weston (Angry Woman at Strike (uncredited)), Jack Wise (Cashier (uncredited)),


Director: Lloyd Bacon
Producer: Samuel Bishoff
Director of Photography: Arthur Edeson
Editing: James Gibbon
Music:Adolph Deutsch
Script: Leonardo Bercovici, Robert Rossen

USA / Warner Bros. / 71 minutes / 1938