Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947)

Here it is - the original. MGM's Crime Does Not Pay, oft imitated, never matched, an intimate look at mankind's most seductive and destructive past time - CRIME. Crafted as only MGM can.

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Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947)
Price:$39.99

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Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947)
 
4.1

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Entertaining (6)
  • Classic style (4)
  • Action-packed (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Entertainment (4)
  • At home (3)
  • Everyone (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Movie buff (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (3)

Reviewed by 9 customers

Displaying reviews 1-9

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4.0

"J.TOURNEUR - F. ZINNEMANN -J.LOSEY"

By J.Gabin

from Pasadena, CA

About Me Movie Buff

Verified Reviewer

Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

Print quality varies from a short to a short but
those prints are quite good generally it's a sharp,and solid image, with good contrast and very little damage on it. However it's uneven in white spots, with some softness and scratches, and a few bad frames.
Some minor issue with the audio track from time to time still clear soundtrack.
Transfers are very good quality also.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

PS: All six discs are pressed DVDs and not made-on-demand discs.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Crime is the wrong way

By cinestarz

from oxford ms

About Me Movie Buff

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Engaging Characters
  • Entertaining
  • Great Cinematography
  • High Production Value
  • Original

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Adult Viewers
    • At Home

    Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

    Gritty well done film noir

     
    3.0

    Interesting Historical Artifact

    By Giraffe44

    from Winter Haven, FL

    About Me Movie Buff

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Entertaining
    • Informative
    • Original

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Adult Viewers
      • At Home
      • In The Car
      • Travel

      Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

      "Crime Does Not Pay" ran from 1935 to 1947. The short films each feature a crime not paying and deliver a message about obeying the law. Many unknown actors got their start here. Robert Taylor starred in the first one, "Buried Loot" just before becoming a major star.

       
      4.0

      FUN COLLECTION!

      By Mark McGee

      from Duarte, CA

      About Me Movie Buff

      Pros

      • Entertaining

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • At Home

        Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

        Picture Quality varies but decent most of the time. Although I believe crime DOES pay that doesn't stop me from enjoying this series. Some of these 20-minute shorts are like mini-film noirs.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Interesting Short Subject Series

        By cuthbert

        from Portland, ME

        Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

        I've only watched the first disc so far, but these are pretty high-quality short subjects with the emphasis on crime and especially penalty. The latter is understandable considering the era they were produced in, but sometimes they feel a bit heavy on the morality. I suppose in a way they could be considered propaganda (did any of these ever convince a criminal to be a good citizen?), but they are mostly enjoyable to watch, except for the frequently wooden acting of the opening law enforcement/justice setup for each story. Each episode is in the 20 minute range, so usually there's no problem holding ones interest for most of the show.

        Things I'd like to have which are not on the discs:
        * Some kind of synopsis for each episode
        * Extras of any kind

        But most importantly: more short subject collections released!

        But let me say I'm very glad that WB offers these at all - even without the frills, they are very good quality. Thank you, WB! And more, please!

         
        3.0

        Good Series

        By Fan 30-40

        from Glendale, AZ.

        About Me Movie Buff

        Pros

        • Action-packed
        • Classic
        • Entertaining

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Entertainment
          • Everyone

          Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

          Very nice series.
          Only ones that I did not really care for was the WW2 ones.
          Other than that, they very entertaining.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          5.0

          Crime Does Not Pay shorts collection

          By Billy Batson

          from Livonia, Michigan

          About Me Audiophile, Avid Reader, Collector, Movie Buff

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Action-packed
          • Classic
          • Engaging
          • Entertaining

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Entertainment
            • Everyone

            Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

            An outstanding collection of all fifty shorts from the MGM Crime Does Not Pay series. Excellent quality and great packaging.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Look At Classic Hollywood

            By H T Classic King

            from Paradise CA

            About Me Collector, Movie Buff

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Classic

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Entertainment

              Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

              ALWAYS GREAT SERVICE FROM WB

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Almost-if-not-quite perfect presentation

              By JLewis

              from Sanford, FL

              About Me Movie Buff

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Action-packed
              • Classic
              • Couple Oscars here
              • Entertaining
              • Great sermons
              • MGM gloss
              • Some familiar actors
              • Well acted

              Cons

              • Slightly campy in parts
              • Sometimes repeditive

              Best Uses

              • Education
              • Entertainment
              • Everyone
              • Great history lesson

              Comments about Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection (1935-1947):

              The Warner Archive did a great job compiling these in chronological order, although it would have been nice if they added some liner notes here. Actually, my only real complaint is that, while most titles look like they come from 35 prints, just a few have a slight video-ish wash. Only we Eagle Eyes will fuss about that, but I do kind-of wish the first title BURIED LOOT looked as great as the second one, despite being the oldest.

              Speaking of BURIED LOOT… that January 1935 release starts this 2-reeler series with a big bang, packing as many twists and turns as possible in mere 20 minutes or so. A young Robert Taylor plays an escaped prisoner who embezzled his company's funds and hopes to change his identity and enjoy the spoils. Only there is that delightful "gotcha" at the end, not unlike many old time radio dramas like "The Whistler".

              The earliest titles involve a cop or detective unraveling some crime through CSI style evidence (and fans of such series have much to enjoy here). The wonderful A THRILL FOR THELMA features the working girl falling for the "bad boy" a.k.a. Bonnie & Clyde style and winding up knocked up in prison later, much like those great exploitation quickies we've come to love. With THE PUBLIC PAYS, a '36 Oscar nominee about the contamination of dairy products, the shift moves to "crimes of this nation" including faked charity services (GIVE TILL IT HURTS), fixed casinos (JACK POT), smuggling goods (POUND FOOLISH) and smuggling people (FORBIDDEN PASSAGE), corrupt lawyers (BEHIND THE CRIMINAL), counterfeiting (KNOW YOUR MONEY) and teenage delinquents coming from "wholesome" families (A CRIMINAL IS BORN… and the kid whose father takes him fishing does not wind up in juvenile court). Some of these issues addressed still plague us today, while others are more problems-of-their-times, like WOMEN IN HIDING addressing unwed mommies who are too ashamed to go to a normal hospital. PHANTOMS INC. may be viewed as the "primo turkey" of the series with that laughable scene of a mourning mother walking into busy traffic as if anxious to "get to the other side" to be with sonny boy. DRUNK DRIVING is the one title you either absolute love or find slightly snicker-ish since it is so over the top. It makes a wreck of some great vintage chrome… and, speaking of chrome, there are more car crashes and chases in these than practically any features of the era. It is quite easy to "date" a title since the thirties brought so many sweeping changes to the look of the Fords and Chryslers on display.

              It is easy to guess who loved these films the most. J. Edgar Hoover must have been somersaulting after watching each new release and for good reason, since the MGM Moralizing gets quite ham fisted and every criminal is put behind bars or fried-to-a-crisp in the end. The sermonizing our friendly hosts do at the start and end of each short gets even more long-wind as the series progresses, but this actually adds to the entertainment value rather than detracts. All of these are much more polished (with very expensive production values) and quite realistic in their acting than the later "scare" instructions gagged down high school students' throats in the post-war era.

              The wartime entries add sabotage, spy rings, amateur radio enthusiasts helping the FCC and more profiting schemes, as well as a detailed history of "geopolitik" in Germany before the war in PLAN FOR DESTRUCTION. Although some early entries have shadowy scenes, the "film noir" influence becomes more apparent in the later entries, like DARK SHADOWS (1944) which takes the intriguing psycho-killer-hates-his-mother route. Fittingly, we come full circle towards the end with titles like THE LAST INSTALLMENT and LUCKIEST GUY IN THE WORLD returning to the "one man/one woman shows" of BURIED LOOT and A THRILL FOR THELMA.

              In addition to a young Robert Taylor, we also get Van Johnson in FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE as well as many character actors with familiar faces and voices like Leon Ames, Neil Hamilton, Barry Nelson and Cameron Mitchell among others. Among the many directors working on these were Jacques Tourneur, Fred Zimmermann, David Miller and Joseph Levy before they hit features. Some of their "styles" can be seen in the many interesting camera angles, including many shots of people "peeping" at others through windows and half-visible shots behind doors and walls.

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