The City of New York Police Captain Detectives Hewitt tells the story of Alan Saunders, one of the most unusual criminals of our time, in "A Crime Does Not Pay Subject" short.



(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) (as Fred Rinaldo)


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Uncredited cast:
Helene Chadwick ...
Saleslady (uncredited)
Robert Dudley ...
Theatre Employee Shooting Victim (uncredited)
William Gould ...
San Francisco Police Detective (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ...
Police Car Driver (archive footage) (uncredited)
Alan E. Saunders (uncredited)
J. Anthony Hughes ...
Chet (uncredited)
Frank Shannon ...
Detective Hewitt (uncredited)
Ben Taggart ...
Police Detective (uncredited)
William Tannen ...
Jim, MGM Crime Reporter (uncredited)
Dave Mayne (uncredited)


After graduating with top honors from a technical school, Alan Saunders, a radio and television engineer, seemed to have a bright future. But as times were tough, he could only get work testing parts in a radio factory. His friend Chet convinced Alan that the company was only giving him lip service in terms of his possible advancement in the company. Feeling like life was short changing him, Alan decided to help Chet with his request on how to dismantle alarms. As such, Alan became an accomplice in Chet's robberies. Alan, now knowing what was going on with his provided information, decided to go knowingly into Chet's robbery schemes along with Chet's partner, Dave Mayne, they opening a radio store as a front. But greed got the better of Alan, who aimed for more lucrative targets. Alan became all consumed by their crimes, even at the possible expense of his marriage to the unknowing Mary and her life, despite he professing to love her truly. Using Mr. Nelson, Alan's old employer at the... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

1 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay #6: The Perfect Set-up  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remake of The Murder Man (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

Crime Does Not Pay
19 September 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Perfect Set-Up, The (1936)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Decent entry in MGM's "Crime Does Not Pay" series takes a look at Alan Saunders (William Henry), a man who goes through school at the top of his class but when he gets out in the real world he has trouble finding a good job. After a lesser student in his class becomes his boss Alan decides to turn to a life of crime and before long things are spinning out of control. This series is without question my favorite of everyone MGM did and this entry here is certainly far from the best but fans such as myself will still want to check it out. I think the biggest problem with the film is its screenplay because the story itself really doesn't stand out in terms of drama from the studio. There were countless morality tales from all studios but usually these "Crime Does Not Pay" shorts took something different or something that really needed to be told. I'm really not sure what part of this story is different with the exception of an early model of television being used. The story is pretty predictable from start to finish and it's really no shock in how it ends. With that said, Henry is pretty good in the lead role as you believe him as the overlooked and mistreated kid but then too as the criminal who finds himself getting into more and more trouble. Another good touch is the funny, somewhat campy way that MGM promotes itself. During the big murder sequence the victim is standing in front of a movie poster, which just happens to be MGM's THE MURDER MAN with Spencer Tracy. Not only do we see the poster but the director gives us a zoom into the title to make sure we see the title.

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