A Crime Does Not Pay Subject: They're Always Caught (1938)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Short  |  3 July 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 86 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Shows the role the crime laboratory plays in the solving of cases, and how even the smallest detail can become a major clue.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Stanley Ridges ...
Dr. John Pritchard
John Eldredge ...
Jimmy Stark
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Eddie Diesel
Charles Waldron ...
Mayor Fletcher


An honest mayor sets out to clean up graft and corruption in a big city, but when he sees through a headline-grabbing prosecutor who's only going after the small fry, he's in danger. Enter Dr. John Pritchard, who heads up the city's crime lab. He methodically sifts through evidence, uses a spectrograph, looks for fibers and grains of gunpowder, and finally cracks the case. But does his own ability put him in danger? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Short






Release Date:

3 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

They're Always Caught  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Followed by Kid Glove Killer (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

Amazing when seen 75 years later.
13 November 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"They're Always Caught" is one of the best films from the exceptional "Crime Does Not Pay" series from MGM. These shorts are almost all uniformly well made and interesting and hold up well today. However, of all the shorts I've seen so far, this one is among the very best--and that's saying a lot.

This short begins with the election of a new mayor. The new mayor is tough and wants to clean up the city. And, in light of this, one of the first things he does is fire the district attorney--a guy who is quick to sing his own praises but who is incompetent or on the take. But this D.A. is clever--before the mayor has a chance to tell anyone else, his car explodes--and it's not the D.A. who is an ex but the mayor! Unfortunately for some poor schnook, it appears as if he's done it--and the D.A. is quick to capitalize on this and swears to convict the guy--even though there is plenty of investigation to go!

What makes this episode so special is the emphasis on forensics. And, what's more interesting is how advanced they were back in 1938. You'll see the investigators going step by step explaining their work and showing exactly how such an investigation is done. Fascinating throughout--and very informative. Well written and acted as well. Strongly recommended.

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