In the days leading up to World War II, the Radio Intelligence Division of the Federal Communications Commission enlists the help of amateur radio operators to determine the location of ... See full summary »
In the days leading up to World War II, the Radio Intelligence Division of the Federal Communications Commission enlists the help of amateur radio operators to determine the location of broadcasts by enemy agents in the United States. Written by
David Glagovsky <email@example.com>
Up until WWII, the Crime Does Not Pay series from MGM was exceptional and very realistic. However, with the advent of the war, the studio began using the shorts more and more for propaganda purposes and realism began to wane. In fact, when this film begins, you'll probably notice that the format has changed--there is no MGM crime reporter or introduction by some fake government official. In fact, there's no introduction at all--the first like this in the series.
The film begins just before the US enters WWII and an FCC agent is shown, briefly, visiting the home of a young HAM radio operator to ask him to stop broadcasting but begin monitoring for unusual activity. Then, the film jumps ahead to 1944 and the story is about a ring of spies who are broadcasting information to the German fleet about the movement of American cargo ships. Here's where it gets really crazy, as one of the broadcasting locations is in a cemetery--under the earth in a fake grave!!! But these evil scum have escaped--is there any chance they'll catch them and save democracy? While there were a few substantiated cases of Axis spies in the US during the war, they were very few and far between. However, if you watched a lot of Hollywood films at the time, you'd think they were just about everywhere! And, having them working inside a subterranean fake grave is just silly. Overall, a ridiculous but reasonably enjoyable propaganda film--and clearly not up to the standards of the usual Crime Does Not Pay short.
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