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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)
MGM Reporter (uncredited)
Captain Richard Kyne (uncredited)
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
See  »

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 »


Thelma Black: I made up my mind that I was going to get everything that life has to offer - money, clothes, luxury.
See more »

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User Reviews

Not quite as good as the usual "Crime Does Not Pay" film.
4 July 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The "Crime Does Not Pay" series from MGM is an excellent series of short films that illustrate crime stories and ALWAYS result in the criminals receiving justice. It's actually amazing how high the quality and how entertaining these films are even today. However, of all the films in the series I've seen so far, "A Thrill for Thelma" is among my least favorite. Now I am NOT saying it's bad, but it does suffer from an ending which just seemed a bit too preachy.

The story begins at a women's prison. The warden is talking with another law enforcement official and begins to talk about Thelma--a woman who just wanted too much. Then, they ask Thelma to tell them her story and what follows is the story of a good time girl who didn't initially mean to break the law. But, she was an idiot and when her boyfriend began committing robberies, she liked the money and thrill so much she agreed to help him. Her lack of conscience and foolishness, not surprisingly, result in her eventual capture. Overall, decent but not among the best--mostly because of the heavy-handed ending.

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