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The Public Pays (1936)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Short | 10 October 1936 (USA)
A protection racket preying on milk distribution is broken through the persistence of law enforcement and the courage of a local businessman.

Director:

Errol Taggart

Writers:

John C. Higgins (story), John C. Higgins (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Richard Alexander ... Drunken Hood Who Knocks Over Milk Wagon (uncredited)
Barbara Bedford ... Markovitz's Secretary (uncredited)
Harry C. Bradley ... Grocer (uncredited)
Russ Clark Russ Clark ... Officer Jerry (uncredited)
Betty Ross Clarke ... Paige's Secretary (uncredited)
John Dilson ... Moore, Milk Company Executive (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Woman from the Relief Bureau (uncredited)
Karl Hackett Karl Hackett ... Markovitz, Milk Company Executive (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Officer Donovan (uncredited)
George Humbert George Humbert ... Simonelli, Italian Milk Dealer (uncredited)
Cy Kendall ... Police Chief John Carney (uncredited)
Bert LeBaron ... Racketeer (uncredited)
Boots Lebaron Boots Lebaron ... Sonny (uncredited)
Ivan Miller Ivan Miller ... Charles Paige (uncredited)
William Pawley ... Kelly (uncredited)
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Storyline

Racketeers, led by Moran, set up what they call the Creamery Betterment Association. They quietly coerce dairy producers to join the association, which will control the dairy market by raising milk by three cents per bottle, one cent of which will go to the association. Moran's ultimate goal is for all three cents to go to the association. Those dairy producers who refuse to join are more forcefully coerced until they feel they have no other option but to join. The higher price of milk has a profound affect on consumers, some who can no longer afford this important product. One dairy producer who holds out of the association is Paige Creamery until Moran's gang threatens Paige's family. The police feel powerless to act until they have more concrete evidence. They convince Paige to continue to hold out so they can use his company as a front for their sting operation of Moran and his gang. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Short

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay No. 8: The Public Pays See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The set for the crooks' office is the same one Clark Gable's character uses in Wife vs. Secretary (1936). See more »

Goofs

The police chief of the city where the crooks set up their racket says he thought such crimes were usually only found in big cities, and not a small one like his. However, outside the window of the crooks' office can be seen New York skyscrapers. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
John Allgren, Department of Justice: Extortion demands good organization, clever brains, and much money, but extortion cannot operate against a brave man who faces down these parasites and goes to the police for help. He cannot be robbed!
See more »

Connections

Followed by Respect the Law (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good portrayal of racketeering in this movie short
29 December 2016 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

This is a very well dramatized short subject by MGM in 1936. Extra or bonus shorts such as this played with the main feature films of the studio theater days that ran through the 1960s. This short is on racketeering. It's very well done and won the Oscar for 1936 short subjects.

In the early decades of the 20th century, phony associations were formed in cities by gangsters who then "convinced" merchants to join them. This film shows a racketeering operation in which the phony association then could control the market and set prices to consumers. That's where the term racketeering comes from. This short gives a good example. Other types of criminal organizations didn't set prices or get involved in the marketing, but simply provided "protection" for their members. Those were organizations in name only – usually headed by a crime boss or family.


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