Escape from Crime (1942)
Fast moving relatively short film (based on Picture Snatcher (1933) but actually quite different) with lots of excitement to keep one engaged in the action. A guy (Richard Travis) who took prison mug shots gets out of prison promising not to come back (or at least get caught again) to his police nemesis (Wade Boteler) who he runs into on his way out the door. The guy is picked up by one of his old gang and it appears that he’ll soon be back in trouble. He is taken to the house of his ex-girl (Julie Bishop) only to find that he’s the father of a baby with her. This convinces him he must go straight. After struggling to find a job as a photographer he’s in the right place at the right time to snap pictures of a bank robbery (by his old gang it turns out) in progress. He is instantly hired by the newspaper which had turned him down previously (they were not willing to hire an ex-con). His old police nemesis is suspicious of how he happened to be at the bank around the time of the robbery to get the pictures and decides to visit him at his house. His best buddy from the old gang who was hurt in the robbery shows up at his house about the same time (as the cop) needing help. The ex-con helps him using his own baby as a decoy to convince the cop he’s gone straight. The cop understands apologizes but then lets on that he saw blood on the carpet saying “you should take care of that else someone’s liable to think you were involved in the robbery”. The ex-con makes good as a newspaper photographer earning a raise but is then asked to take picture of his buddy getting “fried” in the electric chair (for another raise and $1000).
*** SPOILERS ***
He agrees using the cop to gain access to the prison and sneak the illegal picture. When the cop finds out he is furious and apprehends the ex-con. However while taking him in the cop learns that the ex-con’s old gang (headed by Paul Fix) is hold up in a building nearby and goes to assist in the “shootout” (which is laughable at best – windows aren’t hit by police bullets don’t fall apart when they are;-). The ex-con assists in capturing his old gang and is pardoned for his help thanks to the cop he helped credit with the collar.