At Phwitterby-on-Thames, England, a murder has occurred and Philo Holmes and Dr. Watkins are out to investigate it. Seems as if there is a second will and changes have been made in who will... See full summary »
Felix E. Feist
In this spoof of the story The Maltese Falcon (1941) is based on, a double-crossing woman, the two-timing P.I. she hired, the corpulent "empress of crime", and a gentleman thief are all after a legendary priceless eighth-century ram's horn.
A husband is put on trial for murder and he is ready to take the rap, for he is trying to shield his wife from scandal, along with their six-year-old daughter. But the smart young attorney ... See full summary »
Terry O. Morse
Madame DuBarry is a 1934 American historical film directed by William Dieterle and starring Dolores del Rio, Reginald Owen, Victor Jory and Osgood Perkins. The film portrays the life of ... See full summary »
Dolores del Rio,
The MGM crime reporter introduces Edward Swain of the International Bonding Company, he, who in demonstrating that crime does not pay, tells of the unusual case of bank teller Al Douglas. Douglas went to the authorities to admit that he had embezzled $200,000 of the bank's money, but that he had lost it all through spending it and gambling among other things. Douglas' statement is only partially true as he had actually buried the money in what he believed was a secret, hidden location. He figured he could serve a short amount of time in prison - his ultimate sentence being five to ten years, he aiming for the shorter in being the model prisoner - then exit the prison at the conclusion of his sentence a free man to live off the buried money without a worry. What he did not count on is that a lot can change even in five years. As that belief entered his psyche, he began to do more desperate and extreme measures to ensure that he could live free with that money, all at the expense of ...Written by
How do you do, ladies and gentlemen. This is the MGM reporter speaking. I'm a man on a mission. It's my privilege to examine police files and prison records, to interview prominent authorities throughout the country, and bring to you undeniably, proof of the message that crime does not pay. You can't beat the law. The cards are stacked against you. At this time it is my privilege to interview Mr. Edward Swain, the International Bonding Company. Mr. Swain has promised me an incident...
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The one percent don't take kindly to you stealing their money!...
...not even in 1935! Thus proves this early entry in the long running series "Crime Does Not Pay" produced by MGM. Robert Taylor had been in films before this, but AFTER this short, MGM gave him a trial at a prominent supporting role in 1935's Society Doctor - and it is a hoot. But I digress.
Taylor plays Al Douglas, a bank employee who just walks into the bank president's office and confesses to stealing 200K. He knows he is going to jail. The bank president asks him what he did with it and he says "I spent it". Now remember in 1935, deep in the Depression, 200K was equal to about four million dollars today. You just don't spend that kind of money on nothing! So Al's plan was to steal the money, bury it, do his time as neatly as possible so he does the minimum sentence, then dig up the money and live like a king.
Al gets five to ten years. So five years is not long to wait for 200K in 1935. He is doing well in prison, and becomes a trustee. It looks like he'll be out in five. And then "stir" starts getting to him, plus his cellmate has an escape plan and makes one ominous statement - "A lot can happen in five years."
This gets Al thinking. What if somebody digs up the loot while he is in jail? What if he did all of this for nothing? And so his first mistake is to agree to escape with his cellmate. And he just keeps making bad mistakes until the tale has been told by law enforcement to the "MGM Crime Reporter" in flashback.
Taylor did a good job in this short. He displays a real grasp of the craft of acting in a 20 minute short that was usually presented in a "Just The Facts Ma'am" Dragnet style, to reference something more recent. The only odd thing has nothing to do with acting - it has to do with art design. For some reason the MGM crime reporter is conducting his interview in an office with a chandelier in it and a stuffed bird that looks just like The Maltese Falcon on a bookcase. Where is ace MGM art designer Cedric Gibbons when you need him??
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