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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Release Date:

30 December 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Within the Law  »

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lead role was commissioned for Norma Shearer but she had to withdraw owing to pregnancy. See more »

Quotes

Mary Turner: Gee you're white, Joe.
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Connections

Version of Within the Law (1917) 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

 
Paid's payoff a few bucks short.
20 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As MGMs Depression era every-woman Joan Crawford plays another hard luck story against an unsympathetic system but in this one she is out for revenge.

Mary Turner is sent up the river for three years for a crime she did not commit. Her boss, Mr. Gilder has it within his power to reduce sentence but he smugly declines. In the big house Mary hardens and makes connections. She hooks up with former inmate Agnes Lynch ( scene stealer Marie Prevost) and a small time crook Joe Garson (Robert Armstrong) and together they begin to make a lucrative business out of bilking wealthy old fools. Mary snags a young one though; the son of Mr. Gilder, making her revenge complete. When Joe gets duped into an art heist the cushy racket begins to come unglued.

Paid opens fast with Mary at her sentencing followed by a montage of degrading prison life. A broken woman she seeks out Agnes (already working a scam)and rises like a Phoenix with a hard as nails attitude and her self taught education in prison. In addition to the vivid prison scenes there are also some strong moments between Crawford and Armstrong as he feels her out. Once in the groove though Mary clearly takes charge especially the moment she announces to Gilder the elder she's hitched to her son.

When Mary goes soft so does the picture unfortunately and scenes go limp when the tough talk gets mawkish. There is a well edited and suspenseful heist scene and a superb in your face death scene where a mug takes his omerta oath to the grave as well as some lines of raw bias that contribute to the film's pre-code hard edge but when Crawford abandons her cynical self assured side and returns to the tremulous voice of the first reel Paid ends up shortchanging you.


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