Racketeer Rabbit

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Racketeer Rabbit
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny) series
Racketeer Rabbit.jpg
Directed by Friz Freleng
Produced by Edward Selzer
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Dick Nelson (uncredited)
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Gerry Chiniquy
Manuel Perez
Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
Layouts by Hawley Pratt
Backgrounds by Paul Julian
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc.
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) September 14, 1946 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8 minutes
Language English
Preceded by Acrobatty Bunny
Followed by The Big Snooze

Racketeer Rabbit is a 1946 animated short film in the Looney Tunes series produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. It stars Bugs Bunny, who duels with a pair of racketeers or gangsters, Rocky and Hugo forerunners who resemble Edward G. Robinson (Rocky,[1] not to be confused with the aforementioned Rocky) and Peter Lorre (Hugo).[2] Directed by Friz Freleng; written by Michael Maltese; animated by Manuel Perez, Virgil Ross, Gerry Chiniquy and Ken Champin; music by Carl Stalling, and voices by Mel Blanc and, uncredited, Dick Nelson (as "Robinson").

Plot[edit]

Bugs Bunny, looking for a place to pass the night, happens on an abandoned farm house, which, unbeknownst to Bugs, is the hideout of two gangsters, Rocky and Hugo. After claiming "Huh! Sounds like Inner Sanctum" while opening the squeaky front door, he drills a hole in the ground, dons a nightcap, descends in a manner as if walking down spiral stairs and goes to sleep. Shortly thereafter, Rocky and Hugo return pursued by rival gangsters (turning a corner where a billboard advertises Hotel Friz, an in-joke referring to director Friz Freleng). The running gunfight continues as they take cover inside the farmhouse; Bugs comically gets up in the middle of the gunfight (now also wearing a nightshirt) to use the bathroom and get a glass of water before returning to bed just as the shooting ends.

Later while Rocky is doling out his and Hugo's shares of the money from the heist they just pulled, Bugs slyly cuts in after noticing Rocky isn't paying attention. He poses as several gang members until he gets all of the money. Rocky then wises up, and demands the money back. Bugs refuses, even suntanning under the light Hugo uses in an attempt via the third degree to find out where the money is hidden. Rocky then has Hugo take Bugs for a ride, which he gladly accepts, claiming "I could use a breath of fresh air!" Bugs returns to the house without Hugo (who is absent from the rest of the cartoon), and Rocky at first doesn't notice. When he does, he threatens Bugs continuously (all the while demanding that he help him get dressed). He demands to know where the "dough" is, and after promising not to look (since Bugs doesn't want him to know where he hid it) gets a bowl of pie-dough in the face.

Bugs then poses as Mugsy, another gangster (flipping a coin like George Raft), who threatens that "It's curtains for you, Rocky" as if he is going to execute Rocky, and then pulls an actual set of curtains from inside his jacket and hangs them over Rocky's head ("Aw, they're adorable", Rocky purrs). Bugs then pretends to be the police, and has Rocky hide inside a chest while he "deals with" the police. In faux pas, Bugs acts out the police breaking in, demanding to know Rocky's whereabouts, a fight ensuing over the chest which he is in (Bugs drags the chest up and down stairs plus sticks two swords in it in the process), and Bugs play-acting a fight in which he eventually throws the cop out the window. During the phony fight Bugs opens the chest and hands Rocky a time bomb (asking "hold me watch"), and after Bugs declares he has taken care of the cops the bomb promptly detonates, leaving Rocky's clothes tattered and in shreds.

Rocky asks which direction the cops went, and after Bugs points the way, he flees the house by jumping through the window while desirably screaming to be arrested and not wanting to be left "with that crazy rabbit!" Bugs sighs, "Some guys just can't take it, see? Nah, nah, nah, nah!"

Analysis[edit]

Bugs Bunny impersonates Bugsy Siegel and flips a coin like George Raft in Scarface (1932). His Brooklynite accent serves to complete the image of a tough crook.[1]

Sources[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rubin (2000), p. 104
  2. ^ Youngkin (2005), p. 214

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Acrobatty Bunny
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1946
Succeeded by
The Big Snooze