p3392_p_v7_aaThe Howard Hughes-produced The Racket (1951) is a remake of a 1928 film, which I haven’t seen, and it’s nicely convincing about the workings of a city dominated by a crime syndicate.  Probably the best thing about it is the cast.  Among others, Robert Ryan co-stars as a crime boss, the second in the syndicate hierarchy, and early on, we are startled to see his brutal behavior toward Robert Mitchum’s police chief.

The Racket is based on a play.  What it lacks in originality it makes up for in vitality.  Because director John Cromwell received a lot of uncredited help from Nicholas Ray, et al., it is finely made.  The movie is far from faultless, but I’m glad it exists and is available on DVD.