5 user 1 critic

Respect the Law (1941)

Approved | | Short, Crime, Drama | 4 January 1941 (USA)
Shows how so-called "minor" lawbreakers can do more damage than major criminals.


Joseph M. Newman (as Joe Newman)


Howard Dimsdale (original story), Howard Dimsdale (screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Moroni Olsen ... Dr. Walter Terriss
Richard Lane ... George Johnson
Frank Orth ... Peter Brennan
William Forrest ... Police Lieutenant Edward Macroy


A lesson in uncivic selfishness and the value of city ordinances. A public health officer describes an event at a coastal city where a wharf owner bribed a health inspector to ignore an infestation of rats. An outbreak of plague hits - first a dockworker dies then others near the harbor. The police join the health department in searching for the bribed inspector, who's holed up in the mountain cabin of the dock owner. As more die, it becomes urgent to find the inspector and his notes. The doc and the cop set out to catch a man's conscience. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 January 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay No. 33: Respect the Law See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Follows Miracle Money (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Watch Those Rats!
17 April 2011 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Once again, MGM's crime reporter brings us a story in their "Crime Does Not Pay" series. Names, as you may recall, are purposely made fictitious... Forthwith, we receive an introduction from Moroni Olsen (as Dr. Walter Terriss), health commissioner of a large coastal city. Next, we meet businessman Richard Lane (as George Johnson), who balks at purchasing mandatory rodent control for $26.000. When told, "It's a city ordinance," Mr. Lane replies, "It's an outrage!"

Lane successfully bribes rodent inspector Frank Orth (as Peter Brennan) to falsely report his properties are rat free. Then, one of Lane's dockworkers collapses and dies from the bubonic plague! As the death toll rises, police lieutenant William Forrest (as Edward Macroy) and Dr. Olsen must solve the mystery, and track down the rats responsible. "Leave it to Beaver" father Hugh Beaumont plays a reporter. Please, viewers, "Respect the Law" and follow city ordinances!

**** Respect the Law (1/4/41) Joe Newman ~ Richard Lane, Moroni Olsen, Frank Orth, William Forrest

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