Gentle Art of Murder is comprised of a trio of short crime tales: "The Spider's Web," "The Fenyrou Case" and "The Mask." An international all-star cast appears in these filmed playlets, wherein each perfect murder turns out to be less than perfect. The stories are linked by "bookend" scenes in which an aspiring wife murderer goes to a movie house and watches the three cautionary tales unreel. Nearly three hours long, Gentle Art of Murder holds both the audience--and the would-be killer--in thrall. The film's original title was Crime Does Not Pay, though it bears no relation to the MGM short-subjects series of the same name.
by Hal Erickson synopsis