6.8/10
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5 user 1 critic

Buyer Beware (1940)

Approved | | Short, Crime, Drama | 17 August 1940 (USA)
This entry in MGM's "Crime Does Not Pay" series deals with shady companies selling fake merchandise.

Director:

Joseph M. Newman (as Joe Newman)

Writers:

Scott Littleton (based on an original idea by), Julian Harmon (screenplay) (as Julian Hochfelder) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Charles Arnt ... Les Carter (uncredited)
Hugh Beaumont ... Insp. Thomas' Assistant (uncredited)
Margaret Bert ... Grieving Wife (uncredited)
Egon Brecher Egon Brecher ... Child's Father (uncredited)
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Police Insp. William C. Thomas (uncredited)
Helen Brown Helen Brown ... Helen Collins (uncredited)
John Butler ... Jerry (uncredited)
Ralph Byrd ... Officer Halligan (uncredited)
Lewis Charles ... Spike - Gang Member (uncredited)
Ken Christy Ken Christy ... Marty Vincent (uncredited)
Gene Coogan ... Hood (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee Jimmie Dundee ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
Guy Kingsford Guy Kingsford ... Police Chemist (uncredited)
Carroll Nye ... George Collins (uncredited)
Frank Orth ... Smith (uncredited)
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Storyline

Police Inspector William C. Thomas, introduced by the MGM crime reporter, talks about the crime of merchants dealing in stolen goods, and the harm it brings both by supporting the criminal, and bringing merchandise to the market that may have no quality control. He tells the story of Merchandise Distributors, who deals in stolen goods, and one of their customers, Carter & Collins Druggists. One of the owners of the drug store, Les Carter, convinces his partner, George Collins, to buy from Merchandise Distributors because of their low price which would help them get out of their financial difficulty. Carter knows the goods are stolen, and Collins only suspects, but the lure of the easy money to help his family is too much to resist for Collins to say no. However, their association with Merchandise Distributors takes a turn for the worse when Collins contemplates getting out of this arrangement, and when the goods they are selling are the drugs themselves, which may have questionable ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay #30: Buyer Beware See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Milburn Stone, seen here as Fredericks, would later play a pivotal role in one of TV'S longest-running hits: He was "Doc" in Gunsmoke. See more »

Connections

Follows Think It Over (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazing collection of good actors
20 January 2005 | by morrisonhimselfSee all my reviews

This entry number 30 in the "Crime Does Not Pay" series of shorts is one of the first I've paid serious attention to.

Mostly these shorts are used today as fillers on Turner Classic Movies, and I suspect most people use the time to go to the bathroom or kitchen.

Bad mistake, if "Buyer Beware" is any example.

I might have ignored this one too until I started recognizing some of my favorite actors.

If Jack Pennick is in it, I want to see it, whatever it might be.

Milburn Stone, a great actor who is known almost entirely, except by film historians, as Doc in "Gunsmoke," plays one of the chief bad guys in "Buyer Beware." And Ralph Byrd has a moment -- no, more like five seconds -- of glory as a uniformed police officer.

Every one of these generally unknown actors puts on a good show, and they make a relatively tame story well worth watching.

I mean, any film, even a short quickly produced as a time filler, with Ralph Byrd willing to be uncredited, as were all the players, and on screen for five seconds, is a terrific movie-watching, face-seeking ("Say, isn't that ...?") opportunity.


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