Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Joe Garson
...
Agnes Lynch
...
Bob Gilder (as Kent Douglass)
John Miljan ...
Inspector Burke
Purnell Pratt ...
Edward Gilder (as Purnell B. Pratt)
Hale Hamilton ...
District Attorney Demarest
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Police Sergeant Cassidy (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
Tyrell Davis ...
Eddie Griggs (as Tyrrell Davis)
...
Carney
George Cooper ...
Red
...
Bertha
Isabel Withers ...
Helen Morris (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" racket. After plotting verious ways to get back at the men who set her up initially, she softens and settles down. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Within the Law  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Isabel Withers is listed in studio records as appearing in this film with character name "Helen Morris," but her scenes were cut before the film was released. See more »

Quotes

Mary Turner: Gee you're white, Joe.
See more »

Connections

Version of Pagabattina Paduchu (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
Music by Charles Lawlor (1894)
Lyrics by James W. Blake
Partially sung by George Cooper
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User Reviews

 
A bit contrived and melodramatic, this oldie still packs a punch
12 January 2000 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

"Paid" is the story of Mary Turner (Joan Crawford), who spent three years in the pen for stealing from her boss (Gilder's Department Store)--a crime which she didn't commit. She vows revenge as she's dragged away. We see the sentencing phase of her trial with an inept defense lawyer and a vicious, contemptuous DA who keeps interrupting her. Indeed, one recurring theme of this film is its criticism of the justice system--the DA and the cops care only about pleasing the rich by harassing the poor.

According to Vieira, Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood p. 19 (1999), Crawford got the role when Norma Shearer went on maternity leave. Vieira also says that a five-minute fight scene in the women's shower in prison was cut from the film by the studio. There are stills of Crawford and the fight scene at pp. 24-25.

Mary learns some law while in the joint and she and her prison friend Aggie find some clever ways to make money and frustrate the cops by staying just "within the law" (the title of the play from which the film is drawn as well as the 1939 remake). Mary hangs out with Aggie's gang of petty criminals led by Joe Garson. Joe is, in fact, a kind and decent person who just can't say no to the big payoff. Meanwhile, Mary seduces and marries Gilder's son--just to take revenge on the man who falsely accused her of stealing.

While the final portions of "Paid" get rather contrived (there's a major heist which goes badly wrong) and the ending is melodramatic, I think "Paid" was pretty good and Crawford was excellent. The low ratings assigned by IMDb users to this film are not justified. The film is involving and it has some important things to say about class and justice.




18 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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