IMDb > Coffins on Wheels (1941)

Coffins on Wheels (1941) More at IMDbPro »


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Howard Dimsdale (original story)
Howard Dimsdale (screenplay)
View company contact information for Coffins on Wheels on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 June 1941 (USA) See more »
Unscrupulous car dealers foist faulty and dangerous cars on an unsuspecting public. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Predictable short film from the "Crime Does Not Pay" series of the '40s... See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Darryl Hickman ... Billy Phillips
Tommy Baker ... Tommy Phillips (as Tom Baker)

Allan Lane ... Police Lieutenant
Cy Kendall ... Nick the Used Car Dealer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Baldwin ... Mr. Martin - Car Buyer (uncredited)

Barbara Bedford ... First Nurse, at Desk (uncredited)
Margaret Bert ... Mother in Waiting Room (uncredited)
Wade Boteler ... Tommy's Father (uncredited)
Helen Brown ... Billy & Tommy's Mother, Mrs. Phillips (uncredited)
John Butler ... Man Selling Wrecked Car (uncredited)
Naomi Childers ... Second Nurse, in Room (uncredited)
John Gallaudet ... Williams the Salesman (uncredited)
Roy Gordon ... Commissioner Blake (uncredited)
Edward Hearn ... Father in Waiting Room (uncredited)
Louis Jean Heydt ... Detective (uncredited)
William Lally ... Cop (uncredited)
George Lessey ... Narrator (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons ... Trucker (uncredited)
James Millican ... Police Detective (uncredited)
Larry Nunn ... Bob - Tommy's Pal (uncredited)
Steve Pendleton ... Younger Police Mechanic (uncredited)
Frank Richards ... Loopy the Mechanic (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Older Police Mechanic (uncredited)
Duke York ... Flagman (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph M. Newman  (as Joe Newman)
Writing credits
Howard Dimsdale (original story)

Howard Dimsdale (screenplay)

Produced by
Jack Chertok .... producer
Cinematography by
Jackson Rose 
Film Editing by
Adrienne Fazan 
Art Direction by
Richard Duce 
Music Department
Daniele Amfitheatrof .... composer: title music (uncredited)
William Axt .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
David Snell .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Crime Does Not Pay No. 35: Coffins on Wheels" - USA (series title)
See more »
17 min (TCM print)
Black and White (Sepiatone)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Edited into Mr. Blabbermouth! (1942)See more »
Fight 'EmSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Predictable short film from the "Crime Does Not Pay" series of the '40s..., 25 August 2008
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.

This is a well done but predictable short from the series popular during the early '40s illustrating that crime does not pay.

Used car dealer (CY KENDALL) uses smooth talk and unethical tactics to convince buyers they're getting a good deal when it comes to purchasing a used car. In actuality, they're getting cars that have been superficially painted and customized cheaply to correct whatever flaws existed.

A teen-ager (who looks much too young to be driving in the first place) is gullible enough to buy a car that is really a pile of junk painted over and given a few gimmicky things to make it appear like a real buy. What he doesn't know is that the brakes are weak. A strip of asbestos around the brake drum is used to fix a brake problem.

The dealers protect themselves by selling the autos in a condition described as "sold as is." An elderly gent is sold a car that has serious clutch problems but is denied a return on his money when he makes a complaint.

It's up to the D.A. (ALLAN LANE) to bring the bad guys to court after a serious accident kills one boy (DARRYL HICKMAN) and puts the other into the hospital.

"These cars would have been a death trap even if the brakes had held," says someone after court proceedings are over and the men are convicted and sent to jail.

At the end, we hear the narrator say: "This case must serve as a warning to the public."

Summing up: Good public service announcement, fast moving and swift in making its point.

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