20 November 2013 | MartinHafer
Crime Does Not Pay goes to war.
When MGM's Crime Does Not Pay series debuted in 1936, it created a pattern which it consistently followed until 1939--and the short films were amazingly good. The films mostly involved gangsters, though not always, and they were tense and very violent. However, when WWII began, the films more and more often involved topics like good citizenship and Americanism. Then, once the Americans entered WWII in late 1941, the topics almost exclusively were about sabotage, spies and the like. And, frankly, the films lost their edge and became a bit preachy. I understand why the films changed, as Hollywood was trying to bolster the war effort with positive propaganda, but the films STILL come off as propaganda and are less entertaining. In light of the war effort, it's not surprising that they would make a film about a disloyal and greedy sailor who is willing, if the price is right, to help our enemies to sink one of our ships. Apart from seeing Jim Davis and Hugh Beaumont before they were stars, this is a pretty pretty adequate film and nothing more.