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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.



(original story and screenplay), (original story and screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Nick Garvey
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






Release Date:

21 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Sort of like Food Stamp fraud...
13 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

In the 1930s, the Depression led to widespread poverty and hunger. To help relieve this, the government came up with the Home Relief program. This gave the poor tickets they could redeem for subsidized food. The problem is that a gang has begun muscling in on grocery stores--taking the tickets and buying them for only a fraction of what they were worth. Because stores were now losing money, they are forced to raise prices to compensate. Government investigators began noticing that something was amiss and a team led by Special Investigator Stanton (Leon Ames) investigate.

While this installment of "Crime Does Not Pay" was not among the most interesting since it's about such an unusual sort of crime, like its predecessors, it was very well made and exciting.

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