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:
Saleslady (uncredited)
Robert Dudley ...
Theatre Employee Shooting Victim (uncredited)
William Gould ...
San Francisco Police Detective (uncredited)
Police Car Driver (archive footage) (uncredited)
Alan E. Saunders (uncredited)
J. Anthony Hughes ...
Chet (uncredited)
Frank Shannon ...
Detective Hewitt (uncredited)
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

Exceptional and very, very unusual.
4 July 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most unusual shorts from the "Crime Does Not Pay" series. Alan Saunders just graduated at the top of his class in college, but despite being brilliant and talented, he has trouble finding work and takes a job with an electronics company that is beneath his talents. Instead of accepting this and assuming he'll eventually be promoted, Alan is resentful. So, when he has a chance to use his engineering skills for evil, he joins a local crime gang--which is ironic, as his boss DOES recognize his skills and is about to give him a big promotion. The promotion comes too late--and Alan embarks on a very successful career committing robberies and even a murder! Eventually, it all catches up to him.

In addition to being well written, the film was also interesting because it's one of the earlier movies to talk about television, as Alan has invented something to revolutionize TV screen resolutions. And, you see a simulated demonstration of television near the end of the show. All in all, a fascinating and well made short from start to finish.

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