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A Thrill for Thelma (1935)

Approved | | Short, Crime, Drama | 23 November 1935 (USA)
A young girl, wanting a life of luxury, takes the "easy" way, and winds up in jail.


(as Edward Cahn)


(story), (screenplay)




Uncredited cast:
Jack Chefe ...
Waiter (uncredited)
Oliver Cross ...
Passerby (uncredited)
Jack Deery ...
Faculty Member (uncredited)
Policeman (uncredited)
Police Car Driver (archive footage) (uncredited)
Thelma Black (uncredited)
Steve Black (uncredited)
Alice Moore ...
Minor Role (uncredited)
Detective John Hennessey (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ...
Police Lab Technician (uncredited)
William Tannen ...
MGM Reporter (uncredited)
Captain Richard Kyne (uncredited)
Poppy Wilde ...
Night Club Patron (uncredited)


Thelma Black, a young inmate in a women's prison, tells the story of how she wound up in jail. Recently graduated from high school and then beauty college, Thelma, who dreamed of a life of wealth, got a job working as a beautician. She married Steve Black, whose high life she thought she wanted to emulate. She did not know however that Steve is a thief. In one of his escapades in which she was an unwitting accessory, the outcome goes horribly wrong. Despite the problems of that situation, Thelma enjoyed the thrill, but more importantly the easy wealth associated with holding up people. Steve and Thelma believe they are one step ahead of the law. The police, however, are able to piece together the evidence, which includes a distinguishing characteristic of Thelma herself. Beyond the prison sentence, Thelma's crimes have a more profound effect on her life than she could have imagined. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 November 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay Series No. 4: 'A Thrill for Thelma'  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The story is supposed to take place in New York, but when the police are studying a wall map marked with the locations of the crimes it's clearly a map of Los Angeles. See more »


Warden Hannah Graves: The state saved Thelma's child the stigma of being born in prison, but her greatest punishment will be throughout the years to come. Thelma will be denied seeing her child for twenty years. Her trail of thrills has ended in the knowledge that her baby must never know that his mother is a convict and that his father was a murderer slain by the law.
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User Reviews

Crime Does Not Pay
21 July 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Thrill for Thelma, A (1935)

*** (out of 4)

Fourth entry in MGM's "Crime Does Not Pay" series has Thelma (Irene Hervey) graduating high school and hoping for a thrilling life, which she gets when she meets a man (Robert Livingston) who just happens to be a criminal. Soon the two are running a scheme of robbing people who have pulled their cars over to do various things when the duo sneak up on them and take whatever they have. Everything is going good for Thelma and her boyfriend but soon the cops have a plan. This certainly isn't the best film in the series but there are enough interesting scenes to make it worth viewing. I think the best thing this film has going for it is the performance from Hervey who would go onto have a pretty good career. She's certainly very believable in the part and I thought she came off very natural in her scenes whether they were her freaking out over what's going on or her enjoying all the money it's bringing. Livingston is also very good and gets a scene which seemed to have been influenced by some films of Bela Lugosi as we get a close up of his menacing eyes. The story itself is probably the weakest thing here as there really aren't any surprises as everything that happens is so easy to see coming that no one will be fooled.

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