25 user 6 critic

Paid (1930)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 30 December 1930 (USA)
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 »


Sam Wood


Bayard Veiller (play), Lucien Hubbard (adaptation) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Young American woman reunites with estranged divorcée mother living chic, carefree life in Paris. She falls for Harvard football star on vacation, but his conservative parents disapprove of the demimonde lifestyle of the two expatriates.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Joan Crawford, Pauline Frederick, Marjorie Rambeau
Sadie McKee (1934)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A working girl's fortunes improve when she marries into money, but happiness is not so easily won.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Joan Crawford, Gene Raymond, Franchot Tone
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lillian relentlessly attempts to seduce a married man.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, Chester Morris, Lewis Stone
Today We Live (1933)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

During WWI, two officers, one a pilot and the other in the navy, compete for the same beautiful young woman.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson
Stars: Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Robert Young
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After the death of her father and loss of the family fortune, Bonnie gets a job as a cub reporter while her brother becomes involved in bootlegging.

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Joan Crawford, Cliff Edwards, Lester Vail
Rain (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A prostitute newly arrived in the South Pacific finds herself at odds with a stern missionary determined to save her soul.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Joan Crawford, Walter Huston, Fred Howard
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Molly and Terry Donahue, plus their three children, are The Five Donahues. Son Tim meets hat-check girl Vicky and the family act begins to fall apart.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O'Connor
Certificate: Passed Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A flapper charms a diplomat to procure her fiancé a career opportunity, while the fiancé starts a relationship with her best friend.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Joan Crawford, Rod La Rocque, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Cabaret performer Ivy Stevens in an affair with a low-rent traveling salesman is dumped in a 'Dear Jane' letter and finds solace in joining the Salvation Army.

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Neil Hamilton
Dancing Lady (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An attractive dancer is rescued from jail by a rich man, who helps her to have her first big opportunity at a musical play on Broadway.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Bebe Daniels, Ricardo Cortez, Dudley Digges
The Women (1939)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell


Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Mary Turner
Robert Armstrong ... Joe Garson
Marie Prevost ... Agnes Lynch
Douglass Montgomery ... 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)
William Bakewell ... Carney
George Cooper ... Red
Gwen Lee ... Bertha
Isabel Withers Isabel Withers ... Helen Morris (scenes deleted)


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


Three full years in prison for a crime she didn't commit- Do you wonder she wanted revenge? (Print Ad-Turtle Mountain Star,((Rolla, N.D.)) 4 June 1931)


Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 December 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Within the Law See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Bayard Veiller's play, "Within the Law," opened in New York on 11 September 1912. See more »


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


Remade as Broadway Television Theatre: Within the Law (1952) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Joan Crawford Mesmerizes in Revenge Plot
19 January 2014 | by sonyareyna11See all my reviews

1930's film "Paid" is worth every penny and a collector's item for film buffs primarily because of Joan Crawford! This was one of her first "talkies" and Joan determined to show the movie studio execs she was more than a flapper, proved she had the acting chops in her first compelling dramatic performance. She is mesmerizing! Supported by a strong cast like Marie Prevost as endearing wise cracking Agnes Lynch, Robert Armstrong as con artist Joe Garson and Purnell Pratt as the hateful Edward Gilder, her former boss, the film is well written and an entertaining story! Based on "Within the Law" by Bayard Veiller which ran successfully on Broadway in 1912 and three silent films later, this film version (and a talkie) is a must see. Although director Sam Wood does a decent job, it is evident that several scenes were shot like a stage play. The look of the film is interesting however, and set lighting captures the mood, especially with shots of Joan in the women's penitentiary. 30's Films of the day were somewhat stylized and the acting often exaggerated and over the top. But Joan Crawford is a natural and gives an unforgettable performance. She is a knockout in every sense of the word!

The premise is still a good one and this movie buff would love to see the film remade today in a modern version with excellent direction. But it would be hard to top Joan Crawford's performance. "Paid" opens up with a court scene that sentences wrongfully accused Mary Turner to three years in the pen for stealing from the Gilder store where she's worked as a clerk. The department store owner Edward Gilder and his high priced lawyer decisive in sending Mary to jail, represent the unfair establishment.

The film made shortly after the famous stock market crash, is a perfect film for the times. The viewer is immediately on board and Mary Turner represents the oppressed innocent trying to get ahead. It is no wonder that the film did so well in the box office. The first time the camera gives you a close up of Joan Crawford, it is a powerful and unforgettable experience. Joan shows her enormous talent in her hurt, indignant,scared and angry expressions as she receives her sentence. Her big eyes and convincing performance reels the audience in and the viewer becomes an ally with her promise to avenge herself. I was glued to the screen wondering how she was going to get her revenge. The twists and turns in the story line were not always predictable. Joan Crawford gives the most enigmatic and interesting character transformation. In the beginning of the film she is a framed innocent person, but when Mary Turner comes out after doing her time, she is jaded by the system though wiser, stronger and with knowledge of the law. She is going to get even and no one is going to stand in her way even when she starts to fall in love. Mary Turner helps her con artist friends but only if they stay "within the law." Her associations lead to conflict and a major turning point in the story. I recommend this gem of a film. "Paid" has a good pay off for the viewer!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed