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" ...
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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 <email@example.com>
"Paid" is the story of a young woman, Mary (Joan Crawford), who is wrongfully convicted of theft in the workplace. She promises to get even with her employer after she serves her time in prison. The film might have been better if they had included more scenes of Mary in prison, demonstrating the rough and dehumanizing conditions she had to endure (as a way of explaining her motivation).
While in prison, Mary becomes friends with Aggie (Marie Prevost), a young woman who lives in criminal circles. She has plans for them both after their release.
After prison, Mary hooks up with Aggie again when she has financial problems. Aggie introduces Mary to Joe (Robert Armstrong)--a thief/grafter with a kind heart. With Mary's intelligence (she even studied law while in prison), this small group works a con that lets them live the good life. Still, Mary wants to be repaid for the three years she spent in prison. She gets to her former boss, Mr. Gilder, through his son.
"Paid" is an early talkie in the pre-code era and is interesting for that alone. It also includes a couple of phrases that, though racist in nature, were deemed acceptable at the time. Obviously, Joan Crawford made the transition from silent films to talkies without a problem. Though I am not a big fan, I find that I enjoy her earlier performances. She definitely had acting skills.
It is interesting to note those times that the director allows the camera to move. Also, the action that takes place on a rooftop--including a fall--was very well done.
I recommend this film, though it is a little wordy in the last third.
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