Release dateApril 25, 1952 (1952-04-25) (Philadelphia) WriterEugene Ling, Martin Rackin (story) ScreenplayMartin Rackin, Eugene Ling CastGeorge Raft (Joe Gargen), Dorothy Hart (Ann Nelson), Paul Stewart (Lou Donelli), John Hoyt (Vince Phillips), Helen Westcott (Martha Gargen Haines), Henry Slate (Paul Nelson) Similar moviesThe Gambler, Breathless, The Sentimentalists, The Grand Bounce, Frogs for Snakes, Styx
TaglineHe knows every racket's strength... and every woman's weakness!
Loan Shark is a 1952 film noir directed by Seymour Friedman and starring George Raft, Dorothy Hart and Paul Stewart.
An ex-con avenges his brother-in-law's death by infiltrating vicious loan rackets.
George Raft as Joe Gargen
Dorothy Hart as Ann Nelson
Paul Stewart as Lou Donelli
John Hoyt as Vince Phillips
Helen Westcott as Martha Gargen Haines
Henry Slate as Paul Nelson
Russell Johnson as Charlie Thompson
Margia Dean as Ivy
Benny Baker as Tubby
Lawrence Dobkin as Walter Kerr
The film was based on an original script by Martin Rackin. He originally wrote it for producer Louis Edelman at Warner Bros in 1949.
It was the first production from a new arrangement between Robert Lippert and Famous Artists Corporation whereby clients of Famous Artists would make a film, and Lippert would distribute it. Lipper said he was willing to give away up to 75% of the profits to make the films more attractive to talent, in view of the dwindling B market. The writer, producer and director all had a piece of the film.
Gail Russell was meant to play the female lead but was unable to do so because of personal problems. Raft was paid $25,000 plus 25% of the profits.
Filming started 15 January 1952.
The Los Angeles Times said the film "will probably fill the bill for those who like this vigorous straight away sort of action film. It sustains its interest."
The New York Times called it "standard fare" which "isn't particularly hard to take. The director... manages to pace the proceedings at a reasonable clip. The screen play... not only affords the cast some brisk dialogue but stirs up a fair amount of suspense, particularly toward the clima... For once, Mr. Raft's tight-lipped suavity seems perfectly in order... "Loan Shark," while nothing special, could have been a lot worse."
Film critic Dennis Schwartz panned the film, writing, "A lifeless thriller about an ex-convict trying to smash a brutal loan-shark racket. Sappy dialogue, an awful plot, and unimaginative directing by Seymour Friedman, make this hardly believable crime story fizzle. The story made about as much sense as snow in July. It is only watchable because George Raft tries to inject into it some Hollywood star pizzazz. But even the final shootout is flat ... This low-budget crime thriller puts all its action into the final shootout scene in a shadowy theater. It had nothing to say about crime or the workforce. The script leaves the impression that all the parties concerned don't seem to have enough brains to walk and chew gum at the same time.