June Daily, daughter of stockbroker J. C. Daily, is engaged to father's assistant Richard Burton, but is enamored of tap-dancing elevator operator Hal Smith. J.C. has a hot tip on stock for... See full summary »
On New Year's Eve 1946, Sheila Page kills her husband Barney. She wishes that she could relive 1946 and avoid the mistakes that she made throughout the year. Her wish comes true but cheating fate proves more difficult than she anticipated.
This short film provides a brief introduction to Bob Wills and the rise in popularity of his western swing music. Wills and His Texas Playboys perform a handful of songs in various set pieces, including their big hit "San Antonio Rose."
Mr. Brown and his racketeer buddies, calling their company "Best Selections", come up with a scheme to bilk those already seemingly desperate for money of what little they have. The scheme ... See full summary »
When a prisoner on Death Row is "accidentally" killed just before his execution, a reporter smells something fishy. His investigation reveals that the condemned man was about to reveal some... See full summary »
After delivering an address at the dedication ceremony of the cemetary at Gettysburg, on 19 November 1863, President Abraham Lincoln is disappointed in the crowd's seeming lack of ... See full summary »
Charles 'Chic' Sale,
"Miracle Money" is one of the many popular "Crime Does Not Pay" docu-drama shorts that appeared in the late 1930's and early 1940's. ("Once again, this is your MGM crime reporter!") Although the actual storyline is a bit overripe (medical investigators playing cops and robbers), the subject matter was very timely, and remains so today.
The "Miracle Money" refers to cash swindled from frightened and easily duped victims of quack medical practitioners. In this episode, the villainous doctor diagnoses cancer in his victims (whether they have it or not), and promises a reliable and painless cure via his "Volta Ray" machine in exchange for thousands of dollars. Those who are aren't really ill are cheated out of their life savings; the ones who actually *have* serious problems are generally doomed because they wait too long to seek rational treatment.
The fictional "Dr. Jones" of MM was a thinly-veiled reference to Albert Abrams, who first began his career as a quack gadget charlatan in 1915 and managed to dodge the law for years thereafter. There is also a strong inference to Harry Hoxsey and his cancer clinic scams, which began in 1936.
Apparently the message of "Miracle Money" wasn't sufficiently spread -- Ruth Drown resurrected the cancer charlatan device during the 1940's (ironically, her offices were located in Hollywood). Even in the 21st Century, the spiritual descendants of Abrams and Drown are still advertising such "cures," using advertising that is remarkably similar to that used by Dr. Jones in "Miracle Money" some 65 years ago...and the Hoxsey clinics, although finally driven out of the United States, are still operating in Mexico.
This short film appears occasionally on TCM. If you happen to stumble across it, watch. It's fun and melodramatic in its own right, as most of the Crime Does Not Pay subjects are, but it also has an eerie timelessness.
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