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Soak the Poor (1937)

Approved | | Short, Crime, Drama | 21 August 1937 (USA)
Entry number 11 in MGM's "Crime Does Not Pay" series deals with racketeers shaking down small grocers and horning in on the relief tickets, forcing prices up with the consumers paying the freight.


Harold S. Bucquet


Karl Kamb (original story and screenplay), Philip P. Noyer (original story and screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Leslie Fenton ... Nick Garvey
Leon Ames ... Special Investigator Stanton


The MGM crime reporter introduces Mr. Stanton, Special Investigator for the Crime Prevention Bureau. Stanton describes the problems that developed with the government sponsored Home Relief program, which was designed to get food to the hungry and needy during the Depression through distribution of Relief tickets accepted by food merchants. Racketeers, led by Nick Garvey, were forcing food merchants to sell them their Home Relief tickets collected for a fraction of their worth. Garvey would get his men, a handful of those merchants, to collect the face value of the tickets from the Home Relief Bureau. Problems arose for Garvey when many of the merchants refused to deal in Home Relief tickets anymore, since they were losing money in the process. Garvey, in turn, made the merchants continue to collect tickets, but raise their prices to make up the difference. This led to a public outcry. With a mole in the relief office, Garvey was seemingly one step ahead of Stanton. So Stanton had to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Crime | Drama



Did You Know?


11th of 48 films in MGM's "Crime Does Not Pay" series released from 1935 to 1947. See more »


Followed by The Luckiest Guy in the World (1947) See more »

User Reviews

Food Stamps
12 August 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

The eleventh episode of MGM's long-running CRIME DOES NOT PAY series covers is about government fraud. During the Depression, one of the means of relief was to issue "Home Relief" tickets, equivalent to modern WIC Food Stamps. Hoods set up to move between the grocers and the government: the hoods paid the grocers less than face value, and cashed in the tickets themselves. With the grocers losing money on the transaction, they raised prices.

Leon Ames plays the investigator, years before he became the actor who played the father in all the comedies about teen-aged girls.

This popular series highlighted the rackets, national security and stories of petty crimes in 47 two-reel movies from 1935 through 1945. Combining real-world woes and police shoot-outs, it was a popular series that were remade as radio dramas and comic books.

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Release Date:

21 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay No. 11: Soak the Poor See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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