The Public Pays (1936)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Short

The Public Pays (1936) Poster

A protection racket preying on milk distribution is broken through the persistence of law enforcement and the courage of a local businessman.


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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Errol Taggart


John C. Higgins (story), John C. Higgins (screenplay)

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User Reviews

29 December 2016 | SimonJack
| Good portrayal of racketeering in this movie short
This is a very well dramatized short subject by MGM in 1936. Extra or bonus shorts such as this played with the main feature films of the studio theater days that ran through the 1960s. This short is on racketeering. It's very well done and won the Oscar for 1936 short subjects.

In the early decades of the 20th century, phony associations were formed in cities by gangsters who then "convinced" merchants to join them. This film shows a racketeering operation in which the phony association then could control the market and set prices to consumers. That's where the term racketeering comes from. This short gives a good example. Other types of criminal organizations didn't set prices or get involved in the marketing, but simply provided "protection" for their members. Those were organizations in name only – usually headed by a crime boss or family.

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