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Children of Pleasure (1930)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 26 April 1930 (USA)
Successful songwriter falls for society girl who is just playing around. He doesn't realize that his girl-Friday is the one he really loves until it is almost too late. Although he is ... See full summary »



(play), (scenario)


Complete credited cast:
Pat Thayer (as Helen Johnson)
Rod Peck (as Kenneth Thompson)
Lee Kohlmar ...
Bernie (as Lee Kolmar)
May Boley ...
Fanny Kaye
Andy Little


Successful songwriter falls for society girl who is just playing around. He doesn't realize that his girl-Friday is the one he really loves until it is almost too late. Although he is dazzled by high society, he overhears the society girl's admission of just fooling in time to avoid marriage. Played against a theatrical backdrop, there are lots of songs and production numbers. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 April 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Manhattan  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)


(2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


The 2-strip Technicolor sequence, running approximately 500 feet, occurs in Reel 3. The musical number "Dust" is performed on sage by May Boley and a chorus of girls dressed as devils, while Lawrence Gray looks on. It survives intact in the TCM print.It was used again in Roast-Beef and Movies (1934). See more »


Edited into Roast-Beef and Movies (1934) See more »


A Couple of Birds with the Same Thing in Mind
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Reggie Montgomery
Lyrics by Howard Johnson, George Ward
Performed by May Boley and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

"It's 1930. Why be old-fashioned?"
29 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Released in 1930--soon after the advent of talkies--"Children of Pleasure" must have been one of the earliest musicals. But it is not a musical as we know them now, where characters break out in song to express their emotions. Reveling in the possibilities of sound, the talkies were often stories about stage productions or nightclub venues, allowing production numbers, which pretty much stop the storyline. This film has those staged numbers, but since the main character, Danny Regan (Lawrence Gray) is a songwriter, and a guy who communicates better with his girlfriend when he sings to her, various songs become expressions of his love.

The object of his affection is Patricia Thayer (Judith Wood), a socialite backed by family money. She uses and throws away boyfriends like chewing gum. When Emma (Wynne Gibson), Danny's friend and coworker sees him falling for Pat, she is concerned for him, but wants him to be happy.

Pat eventually agrees to marry Danny. On the night of the wedding rehearsal, Danny overhears something that makes him second guess his decision to marry Pat.

The sound quality of the film is sometimes fuzzy, sometimes excellent--what you might expect of a film from 1930. The storyline is fairly good until the ending, when instead of showing us what transpires, the film has a character tell us what happened. This also results in a jarring close to the film.

The musical (and dance) numbers are typical for the era. Lots of "gee whiz" lyrics and shuffling. But the songs are not bad. One song Danny sings, titled "The Whole Darn Thing's For You" is charming.

The entire cast feels like it was picked right out of vaudeville and the borscht circuit. So some of the humor is clever, some feels amateurish by today's standards. But I liked most of the characters. I particularly liked the acting/singing/comedy of Wynne Gibson.

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