|Directed by||I. Freleng|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer (uncredited)|
|Story by||Michael Maltese|
Dick Nelson (uncredited)
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Gerry Chiniquy|
|Layouts by||Hawley Pratt|
|Backgrounds by||Paul Julian|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
The Vitaphone Corporation
|September 14, 1946 (USA)|
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 of Rocky and Mugsy who resemble Edward G. Robinson (Rocky, not to be confused with the aforementioned Rocky) and Peter Lorre (Hugo). 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").
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Bugs Bunny, looking for a place to pass the night, happens on an abandoned gothic farmhouse, 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 the 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 is not 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. When Rocky points a gun at Bugs to extract information from him, Bugs spouts out something incomprehensible at top speed (emulating the Lucky Strike tobacco auctioneer on radio). 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, his fate unknown), and Rocky at first does not notice. When he does, he threatens Bugs continuously (all the while demanding that he helps him get dressed). He demands to know where the "dough" is, and after promising not to look (since Bugs does not 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 (to which Rocky admits "Aw, they're adorable."). 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, ensuing a fight over the chest which he is in (Bugs sticks two swords in the chest, plus he drags the chest down then back up the stairs afterwards), and Bugs play-acts a fight in which he eventually throws the cop out the window. Before the phony fight, Bugs opens the chest and hands Rocky a time bomb (asking "hold me watch"). After Bugs fakes throwing out the cop out the window, the bomb promptly detonates which leaves Rocky's clothes tattered and in shreds and Bugs declares that he has taken care of the cops.
Rocky asks which way the cops went; after Bugs points the way through the window, Rocky 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? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!" (impersonating Rocky).
- Rubin, Rachel (2000). "A Gang of Little Yids". Jewish Gangsters of Modern Literature. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252025396.
- Youngkin, Stephen D. (2005). "Being Slapped and Liking It". The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813137001.
- List of Bugs Bunny cartoons
- Bugs and Thugs in which Bugs Bunny treats Rocky and Mugsy to hide the villains routine
- Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas in which Bugs Bunny treats Daffy Duck to hide the villains routine
- Rubin (2000), p. 104
- Youngkin (2005), p. 214
| Bugs Bunny Cartoons
The Big Snooze