Madame Racketeer (1932)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Comedy  |   Run Time - 71 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Confidence woman Martha Hicks (Alison Skipworth), better known to those who know her at all as "the Countess," is a career criminal who has just been paroled. She would like to slip away from the authorities and leave the country, but first she wants to look in on the only decent, respectable part of her life, the two daughters whom she left behind with her onetime husband, Elmer Hicks (Richard Bennett), a small-town hotel owner. She arrives to find that Elmer, in his well-meaning but dithering way, has let their younger daughter (Gertrude Messinger) fall in with the wrong crowd, including a two-bit criminal, Jack Houston (George Raft). He has filled her head with stories about what a big man he is and plans to take her to Chicago with him, until Martha intervenes -- she manages to turn the interest of veteran lawman John Adams (J. Farrell MacDonald) to her advantage and nearly gets Houston thrown in the slammer. When he proves tougher to get out of the way than she'd thought he'd be, Martha has to choose between freedom or the well-being of her daughter, and gets some unexpected help from Elmer. Skipworth is charming and the rest of the cast is first-rate in this sly, fast-paced, and enjoyable comedy drama.



criminal, daughter, mother, prison