IMDb > Respect the Law (1941)

Respect the Law (1941) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
4 January 1941 (USA) See more »
Shows how so-called "minor" lawbreakers can do more damage than major criminals. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Preachy and difficult to believe. See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)
Moroni Olsen ... Dr. Walter Terriss
Richard Lane ... George Johnson
Frank Orth ... Peter Brennan
William Forrest ... Police Lieutenant Edward Macroy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Hugh Beaumont ... Reporter (uncredited)

Barbara Bedford ... Johnson's Maid (uncredited)
Naomi Childers ... Nurse (uncredited)
Mary Currier ... Mrs. George Johnson (uncredited)
Bruce Edwards ... Interne (uncredited)
Rosina Galli ... Mrs. Arturi, Bereaved Italian Mother (uncredited)
George Guhl ... Williams, Radio Interviewee (uncredited)
Eddie Hart ... Police Officer (uncredited)
William Lally ... Cop (uncredited)
Hal Le Sueur ... Reporter (uncredited)

Claire McDowell ... Nun (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Dock Worker (uncredited)
Roger Moore ... Reporter (uncredited)
John Raitt ... Pete, First Plague Victim (uncredited)
William Tannen ... Mark, Terriss's Associate (uncredited)
Charles Wagenheim ... Johnson's Secretary (uncredited)
John Wald ... Radio Commentator (uncredited)
Duke York ... Bereaved Man (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph M. Newman  (as Joe Newman)
Produced by
Jack Chertok .... producer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Crime Does Not Pay No. 33: Respect the Law" - USA (series title)
See more »
20 min
Black and White (Sepiatone)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


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Preachy and difficult to believe., 20 November 2013
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

I really enjoy the Crime Does Not Pay series of short films from MGM. However, after recently purchasing the DVD set, I notice that the quality and style of the films seems to have declined around WWII. In the earlier films, there was lots of action, violence and realism. However, starting in around 1940, topics changed from mobsters and killings to patriotism and civic duty. Not surprisingly, this sort of stuff comes off as preachy and is far less interesting to watch. While the usual MGM polish is still present, the films are a lot less watchable.

"Respect the Law" sure has a preachy title--and its purpose is to instill good citizenship with a message about as subtle as a stripper at a Baptist picnic! When the film begins, a businessman doesn't want to be bothered with the cost of paying for exterminators at the docks. Instead, he just bribes the official in charge of inspections. However, when Bubonic Plage breaks out because of all the rats, he and the inspector sure regretted their less than patriotic behaviors. In other words, if you cheat, you HATE America! Preachy, preachy, preachy. There's really nothing more I need to say about this one. It's watchable but also comes off as heavy-handed and a bit ridiculous.

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