Crime Ring

This is another racket busting movie, à la Smashing the Rackets and Racket Busters. The category of rackets here is "fortune tellers and specious stock promoters". The faux psychics steer credulous marks toward unscrupulous mining stock promoters. A typical 1930's racket would have honest businesses pay membership dues to protect themselves from the crime organization itself. In Crime Ring the businesses are not honest so they seem to get value for their money - the organization helps eliminate non-member competition and offers legal help.

The hero of the story is reporter Joe Ryan (played by Allan Lane) who is working with the DA's office. With the help of actress Judy Allen (Frances Mercer) and her ventriloquist friend (Inez Courtney) he sets up an elaborate sting operation. Judy is emplaced in a fortune teller's apartment and is approached by the crime ring. Joe then plays the innocent who is suckered by Judy to buy stock. Joe is made by the gangsters and kidnapped but is saved by cops who have been secretly tailing him.

Clara Blandick (Aunty Em from The Wizard of Oz) plays a wealthy widow who almost falls for a specially crafted fortune telling scam. Joe convinces her that all is not on the up and up and she helps catch the bad guys. A lawn jockey is a significant plot device, leading Joe to say at the end: "Don't thank me, thank the little darkie in the driveway".

Another familiar face: Byron Foulger.

Clara Blandick
Byron Foulger


Post a Comment

Designed by: | Bloggerized by Dhampire