During the war years, the Crime Does Not Pay series from MGM took a huge dip in quality and entertainment value. Instead of thrilling audiences with realistic crime dramas (with violent endings), the films started focusing on topics like patriotism, good citizenship and Nazi spies--all very dull compared to their older films. Fortunately, with "Fall Guy", the series makes a return to the sort of subjects that made these shorts among the best of the age. While it still lacks the narration of the original films, the style is clearly like the old Crime Does Not Pay shorts.
Leon Ames plays a guy who is embezzling from his bank. However, he's very clever and amoral--killing a bank examiner and framing an innocent man of the crime. In fact, the innocent guy has been sentenced to die and it's up to a determined investigator to turn up the truth before it's too late. And, it all ends in a tremendously violent and exciting finale.
All in all, a very gripping, well made and exciting short--and one well worth your time. A few notes about the film are in order. First, although Leon Ames is the only actor listed on IMDb, Will Wright plays the crooked lawyer and Morris Ankrum plays the tough investigator. Second, in the final scene in the death house, you might notice that one of the pants legs on the murderer is torn. This is an interesting touch, as this was done deliberately in order to make it easier to attach electrodes for the electric chair!
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