Parole Girl

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Parole Girl
Directed by Edward Cline
Screenplay by Norman Krasna
Story by Norman Krasna
Starring Mae Clarke
Ralph Bellamy
Cinematography Benjamin H. Kline
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • March 4, 1933 (1933-03-04) (United States)
Running time 67 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Parole Girl is a 1933 American romantic drama film directed by Edward Cline. The film stars Mae Clarke and Ralph Bellamy.


When Sylvia Day (Mae Clarke) is caught trying to pull a scam on the Taylor Department Store in New York City, she pleads with the store manager to let her go, but his boss, Joe Smith (Ralph Bellamy), insists on following store policy, and she is handed over to the police, convicted and sentenced to a year in prison. Sylvia is consumed with the idea of getting revenge on Joe.

She becomes friends with chatty fellow inmate Jeanie Vance (Marie Prevost), who offers to team up with her (and commit more crimes) once they have served their time. When Sylvia learns that Jeanie has a surprising connection to Joe, she decides to get out early. She sets a fire, then passes out from the smoke while trying to put it out. For her "heroism", she is granted parole.

Tony Gratton (Hale Hamilton), her partner in the failed con, tries to talk her into marrying him and going to Chicago to continue their life of crime, but she is determined to avenge herself. Besides, she knows that Tony is already married.

Sylvia stalks Joe, learning all she can about him. Then, she pretends to be an old acquaintance at a nightclub where Joe is celebrating his promotion to general manager by getting drunk. The next morning, Joe discovers her in his apartment. She informs him that they have gotten married. Joe laughs, then tells her that he already has a wife. She tells him she knows (it is Jeanie), then reveals her motives. Tony shows up, masquerading as the person who married them; he gives Joe the marriage license the couple supposedly left behind. Threatened with a charge of bigamy, Joe reluctantly agrees to support Sylvia for a year, the length of her parole.

Tony tries again to get Sylvia to be his partner in crime. When she refuses, he slips a counterfeit $20 bill in her purse. Sylvia goes on a shopping spree and pays for some of her purchases with the bill. It is traced back to her, but when a policeman shows up to take her back to jail, Joe pretends that she took the money out of his pants pocket. As a store manager, he deals with counterfeit money all the time. The ploy works, and Jeanie sends back her extravagant purchases.

Later, Joe calls her from the office and asks her for a favor. Mr. Taylor (Ferdinand Gottschalk), the store's somewhat eccentric owner, has found out that Joe is married, so he is coming to dinner at their apartment. While Sylvia is cooking, Jeanie shows up. Her friend has been released early and intends to blackmail her husband (whom she married long ago while he was in college and then lost track of), once she can locate him, before heading to Florida with Sylvia. Sylvia gets her to leave before Joe and Mr. Taylor show up (early) by promising to give her a decision the next day. Taylor insists on doing the cooking; he is fed up with being waited on by servants. He becomes very fond of the couple and hints at a promotion to vice president if they were to have a baby.

The next day, Sylvia persuades Jeanie that it is too dangerous to try blackmail in New York because of her record and agrees to go with her to Florida. Sylvia leaves a letter for Joe explaining everything, ending with the admission "I love you". On the train, however, Jeanie reveals that she divorced Joe without his knowledge. Sylvia gets off and rushes back to the apartment; Joe has already read the letter and takes her in his arms.

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