Loan Shark (film)

Loan Shark is a 1952 American crime film noir directed by Seymour Friedman and starring George Raft.[2]

Loan Shark
Theatrical release lobby card
Directed bySeymour Friedman
Produced byBernard Luber
Screenplay byEugene Ling
Martin Rackin
Story byMartin Rackin
StarringGeorge Raft
Music byHeinz Roemheld
CinematographyJoseph F. Biroc
Edited byAlbrecht Joseph
Encore Productions Inc.
Distributed byLippert Pictures
Release date
  • May 23, 1952 (1952-05-23) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States


An ex-con avenges his brother-in-law's death by infiltrating vicious loan rackets.



The film was based on an original script by Martin Rackin.[3] He originally wrote it for producer Louis Edelman at Warner Bros in 1949.[4]

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.[5][6]

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.[1]

Filming started 15 January 1952.[7]


Critical response

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."[8]

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."[9]

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.[10]


  1. Everett Aaker, George Raft: The Films, McFarland 2012 p150
  2. Loan Shark on IMDb.
  3. challert, E. (1951, Dec 03). Brothers of maureen O'hara progress; naish teamed with ruth hussey. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  4. Special to The New York Times. (1949, Aug 16). MASON TO CO-STAR WITH GRETA GARBO. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  5. By THOMAS M PRYOR Special to The New York Times. (1951, Dec 04). LIPPERT IN A DEAL WITH FILM AGENCY. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  6. By, T. M. (1951, Dec 09). HOLLYWOOD MEMOS. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  7. Schallert, E. (1951, Dec 03). Brothers of maureen O'hara progress; naish teamed with ruth hussey. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  8. Schallert, E. (1952, May 10). 'OUTCASTS' UNIQUE, POTENT WESTERN. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  9. Review of film at New York Times
  10. Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews film review, August 29, 2003. Accessed: July 9, 2013.
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