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

Approved | | Crime, Short | 3 July 1938 (USA)
Shows the role the crime laboratory plays in the solving of cases, and how even the smallest detail can become a major clue.



(original story), (screenplay)
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
See  »

Did You Know?


Followed by Kid Glove Killer (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

old school CSI
17 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

Mayor Fletcher is cleaning house. He's firing corrupt officials and canceling contracts. He's taking down rackets. Small business owner Eddie Diesel is tired of paying off the crooks and tries to contact the mayor at his home. Meanwhile the mayor fires prosecutor Jimmy Stark for taking bribes and letting off major crime leaders. The mayor is killed by a car bomb in his garage and the police arrests Eddie. Dr. John Pritchard uses scientific investigation techniques to solve the case.

This is part of MGM's Crime Does Not Pay series. It was nominated for the Oscars. The crime story is rather stiff and the acting is also a little stiff. It's functional and then there is the CSI second half. They haven't invented the rock music montage yet but it's still fascinating to see. This feels somewhat like an industrial movie at times.

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