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Drunk Driving (1939)

 -  Drama | Short  -  28 October 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 72 users  
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In this Crime Does Not Pay series entry, John Jones is an up and coming businessman who drinks too much but denies he has a problem. One day he mixes drinking and driving, and the tragic ... See full summary »



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Title: Drunk Driving (1939)

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Complete credited cast:
Dick Purcell ...
John Jones
Jo Ann Sayers ...
Mrs. Jones
Richard Lane ...


In this Crime Does Not Pay series entry, John Jones is an up and coming businessman who drinks too much but denies he has a problem. One day he mixes drinking and driving, and the tragic consequences hit very close to home. Written by David Glagovsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short






Release Date:

28 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay No. 25: Drunk Driving  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Crime Does NOT PAY!
11 June 2001 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

In this early example of an instructional film, we open on the stirring close-up of a police badge. Then, we hear the blare of sirens, and then we see a solemn expert who speaks to us about the dangers of drunk driving - and offers photographs to back up his word. Just as we prepare to swear off drinking for the rest of our lives, he offers this dramatic reconstruction, and it's flash-back time.

John Jones is a nice guy who works for a refrigerator firm. This is our first tip-off that he's not too bright. He's just landed a $20,000 contract, and the boss is sending him off to the east coast, to train for his upcoming management post. Elated by this news of his promotion, Jones rushes with his buddy to the bar, and drinks 3 straight bourbons. Then, wisely, he drives home, stopping only to hit the bumper of a woman when he runs a stop sign. (When he gives her his card and says insurance will pay for the damage, she says "Oh no you don't! All these people on the sidewalk saw what happened! We'll settle this right here!")

Arriving home to his elated wife and her mother, they decide to go to dinner at a place called "The Plantation," which is some miles away. He drinks one martini in celebration with his wife and mom, and drains another two in secret. (This after paying a $25 fine for the first accident.) He keeps speeding and speeding and HE'S GOING TOO FAST AND THEN...BOOOOOOOOOM!

Naturally, his wife her the baby in the truck he God knows who else. It's all too much. He cracks up, crying hysterically (and quite annoyingly). Dissolve back to stern-faced expert, who delivers lecture. And then it's all over.

OK, I've had my fun. What do you really expect from an educational movie? Entertaining as an artifact, and also as one of the first works of David Miller, who later directed Kirk Douglas in Lonely Are The Brave. This movie plays under the label "One-Reel Wonder" on TCM.

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