The Gold Racket (April 10, 1937)

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Conrad Nagel and Eleanor Hunt in The Gold Racket
 

Released on April 10, 1932: The U.S. has gone off of the gold standard, and the price of gold has risen high enough that gangsters can make more money smuggling gold instead of booze into the country, and the new 'G-Men' must get the bad guys.

Directed by Louis J. Gasnier and Joseph H. Lewis

The Actors: Conrad Nagel (Alan O'Connor), Eleanor Hunt (Bobbie Reynolds), Fuzzy Knight (Scotty Summers, piano entertainer), Frank Milan (Steve Williams), Jack Duffy (Hinkle), Albert J. Smith (Fraser), Warner Richmond (Doc Johnson), Charles Delaney (Joe), Karl Hackett (Lefty), William L. Thorne (McKenzie), Edward LeSaint (F.B.I. Agent Dixon), James Guilfoyle (hot dog vendor), Fred Malatesta (Ricardo), Paul Weigel (Daniel Forbes, assayer).

 

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In 1933 the men of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were trying to arrest infamous outlaw Machine Gun Kelly. When they approached him, he quickly stuck his hands in the air and shouted, "Don't shoot, G-Men! Don't shoot, G-Men!" Machine Gun Kelly may have read the term 'G-Man' in the 1930 book about Al Capone that was written by F.D. Pasley, or maybe he just thought it up himself. The term 'G-men' quickly entered the American language and this 1937 crime adventure is a tale of the G-Men (and women) who were the 'national' police investigators of the U.S.

Today the U.S. tries to slow the drug traffic from Mexico into the U.S., but in 1937 when this movie was made, Prohibition was over, but gangsters were still smuggling cheap liquor into the U.S. from Mexico. But news that the U.S. went off the gold standard and was allowing the price of gold to fluctuate, gold quickly rose to $35 an ounce. It quickly became a lucrative market for gangsters, who could buy gold in Mexico for much less, and smuggle it into the country to sell for the much higher price offered here.

Our two G-men investigators are leading man Conrad Nagel, who plays F.B.I. agent Alan O'Connor, and Eleanor Hunt, who is F.B.I. agent Bobbie Reynolds. They travel to a small town in Mexico and play detective throughout this flick to get evidence on some gold smugglers that frequent the local nightclub. Headlining at the nightclub is the amazing Fuzzy Knight, more often seen in cowboy movies. He is piano player / entertainer Scotty Summers, and he is wonderful to watch and hear. A really funny guy. Gal agent Bobbie Reynolds gets a job with garlic eating piano player Scotty as a singer, and our cast is set. The dialogue is witty in sections, and you will enjoy the old toothless taxi driver almost as much as the garlic eating piano player.

Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn, drizzle it with plenty of warm melted butter, grab a beverage of choice, and enjoy a thrilling tale of the legendary G-Men from 1937, during the height of their popularity.