Paid (1930 film)

Paid is a 1930 American pre-Code drama film[2][3] starring Joan Crawford, Robert Armstrong, and Kent Douglass in a story about a wrongly accused ex-convict who seeks revenge on those who sent her to prison using a scam called the "Heart Balm Racket".

Directed bySam Wood
Produced bySam Wood
Written byAdaptation:
Lucien Hubbard
Adaptation & Dialogue:
Charles MacArthur
Based on"Within the Law" (1912 play)
by Bayard Veiller
StarringJoan Crawford
Robert Armstrong
Kent Douglass
Music byYellen & Ager
CinematographyCharles Rosher
Edited byHugh Wynn
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 30, 1930 (1930-12-30)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,231,000[1]

The film was adapted by Lucien Hubbard and Charles MacArthur from the play, Within the Law by Bayard Veiller (1912) and was the fourth film version of the play. The film was directed and produced by Sam Wood.[4]

Plot and cast

Unjustly sent to prison, Mary Turner (Joan Crawford) plots revenge upon those who sent her there - district attorney Demarest (Hale Hamilton) and Edward Gilder (Purnell Pratt). Once released she meets Joe Garson (Armstrong), an experienced crook, and together they concoct a breach of promise scam to be perpetrated upon the well-heeled elderly. In an ambitious step, Mary weds her enemy's son Bob Gilder (Douglass Montgomery). At the end, she has come to terms with her past and seeks peace of mind rather than revenge. A subplot involves a police-thwarted heist of a painting and the capture of Mary's comrade-in-crime Joe Garson (Robert Armstrong). Cast includes Marie Prevost and Polly Moran as Mary's fellow prison inmates.



Photoplay commented, "The story is absorbing and Joan is simply grand!" The New York Times noted, "Miss Crawford and Miss Prevost are very good in their roles."[5]

Box office

According to MGM records the film earned $920,000 in the US and Canada and $311,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $415,000.[1]


Paid was remade in Bollywood as the film Intaqam starring Sadhana.


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Variety film review; January 7, 1931, page22.
  3. Harrison's Reports film review; January 10, 1931, page 7
  4. Paid (1930) notes,; accessed July 24, 2015.
  5. Quirk, Lawrence J.. The Films of Joan Crawford. The Citadel Press, 1968.
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