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  • boblipton24 October 2012
    MGM's "Crime Does Not Pay" series goes to war -- in this case, telling the story of the recruitment of a dissatisfied mariner and the elaborate -- and foiled -- plot to blow up a ship called "The Caramel" with chocolate.

    By this point, the series had turned a bit stolid and neat in its execution, although it remained topical. The latter may not be an asset to the modern, casual audience. The dialogue is often spoken mechanically, but given that a movie like this could be a short B feature at another studio, the tendency to rush a bit can be forgiven.

    Look for a very young Hugh Beaumont in a very brief bit as a chemist.
  • 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.