IMDb > A Crime Does Not Pay Subject: 'Forbidden Passage' (1941)

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Carl Dudley (original story)
Carl Dudley (screenplay)
View company contact information for A Crime Does Not Pay Subject: 'Forbidden Passage' on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 February 1941 (USA) See more »
The MGM Crime Reporter introduces Frank J. Maxwell, Florida District Director of the US Immigration Service... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
The Forbidden Passage Is To America And Freedom See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Addison Richards ... Frank J. Maxwell
Wolfgang Zilzer ... Otto Kestler

Hugh Beaumont ... Clements
George Lessey ... American Consul in Lisbon
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Cleveland ... Anna's Father (uncredited)
Alec Craig ... Bartender in Belize (uncredited)
Vernon Downing ... Belize Policeman (uncredited)
William Edmunds ... Illegal Alien Aboard Tugboat (uncredited)
Roland Got ... Illegal Alien on Tugboat (uncredited)
Mitchell Lewis ... Florida Fisherman (uncredited)
Lotte Palfi Andor ... Anna Kestler (uncredited)
Dick Rich ... Seaman Aboard Tugboat (uncredited)
Julian Rivero ... Corrupt Consulate Aide in Lisbon (uncredited)
Alexander Schoenberg ... Man Waiting in Office (uncredited)
William Tannen ... Daggett (uncredited)
Morgan Wallace ... Belize Alien Smuggler (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Seaman Aboard Tugboat (uncredited)
Harry Woods ... Tugboat Captain (uncredited)

Directed by
Fred Zinnemann 
Writing credits
Carl Dudley (original story)

Carl Dudley (screenplay)

Cinematography by
Jackson Rose (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Albert Akst 
Art Direction by
Richard Duce 
Music Department
Daniele Amfitheatrof .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
William Axt .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
David Snell .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Forbidden Passage" - USA (short title)
See more »
21 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
The Forbidden Passage Is To America And Freedom, 11 February 2010
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Immigration issues are always tricky to deal with in American cinema because the contribution of immigration to our national character and prosperity due to the unlimited immigration of the 19th century is still a matter of pride and should be. But during the Roaring Twenties when we adopted more stringent immigration policy our attitudes changed. Even now sad to say its not uncommon for the descendants of immigrants to be the ones pushing the hardest for stringent immigration policy. It's like the last groups in want to bang the door shut and lock it against the future.

So in the Thirties with a whole lot of folks looking to get out of Europe because of Fascism, Communism and whatever other kind of totalitarianism you can name, we see MGM lauding the US Immigration Service in this Crime Does Not Pay Short. It's an ironic title here, Forbidden Passage, because the title is referring to a Forbidden Passage to America and freedom for the people you see in this short. Further ironical because it's directed by Fred Zinnemann who also fled Europe and would go on to a directorial career that got him two Oscars.

Addison Richards plays the intrepid head of the Florida branch of our Immigration Service and the short shows how he and our government deal with people who ruthlessly take advantage of the hopes and aspirations of millions of refugees. We still got those kind of ruthless people today.

This film might be timely for some even now because Moslem terrorism has kept immigration as an issue on the front burner. But in 1941 before Pearl Harbor this was one great message for our film industry to be sending abroad. Stay in Europe and be persecuted or risk running our strict immigration laws in America. I guess in one word a review of this film is YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESH.

And Forbidden Passage got nominated for Best Short Subject. All I can say is DOUBLE YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESH.

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