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Pound Foolish (1940)

An expose of attempts by wealthy people to avoid payment of customs duties. Part of the MGM "Crime Does Not Pay" series.



(screenplay), (original story) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Stephen Lancaster
Mrs. Marguerite Lancaster
Mrs. Irene Reynolds
Victor Lestrade


An expose of attempts by wealthy people to avoid payment of customs duties. Part of the MGM "Crime Does Not Pay" series.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Short | Drama





Release Date:

27 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay No. 26: Pound Foolish  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

The ending is a bit far-fetched...though exciting.
19 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

This installment of the Crime Does Not Pay series stars Neil Hamilton--a guy who had been a leading man in the 1920s and 30s. By 1940, Hamilton's career has slowed a bit and he was now playing supporting roles or starring in low-budget B-movies. However, you will probably recognize him as Commissioner Gordon from the "Batman" TV show of 1966.

"Pound Foolish" is about smuggling items from abroad in order to avoid paying import duties. It begins with a customs officer's wife coming into the country with lots of items she didn't declare and she's contemptuous of the law--invoking her husband's name as if it should somehow exclude her from laws that affect 'other people'. However, customs officials have become wise to her and plan on arresting her after they gather more evidence. How this ends up hurting Hamilton's character, you'll have to see for yourself.

The story is pretty exciting, though perhaps a bit overwrought. Now I am NOT excusing this sort of behavior, but ending the film the way they did made the story seem a bit far-fetched. Though, in keeping with the style of the series, the ultra-violent ending isn't surprising. A fair representation of the series.

By the way, like most of the Crime Does Not Pay films, it features a fake government official who introduces the film. This time 'customs Agent Warner' is played by the character actor John Hamilton--the guy who played Clark Kent's boss in "The Adventures of Superman" TV series.

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