15 user 6 critic

Sinners' Holiday (1930)

Ma Delano (La Verne) runs a boardwalk penny arcade, living upstairs with her sons (Cagney and Gallagher) and daughter (Knapp). Story involves rum running, accidental murder and a frame-up.



(based upon the play: "Penny Arcade"), (screen adaptation) (as Harvey Thew) | 1 more credit »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Charles Judels
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Trucker Eddie Kennedy gets involved with the law when he has an car accident with Ann Reid and knocks the owner of a dairy out. He evades a penalty when he claims, that he had done it as an... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: James Cagney, Patricia Ellis, Allen Jenkins
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Famous motor-racing champion Joe Greer returns to his hometown to compete in a local race. He discovers his younger brother has aspirations to become a racing champion and during the race ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler
Doomed Cargo (1936)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A wise cracking American P.I. traveling abroad with his love interest and sidekick, stumbles on to a dead body. After it disappears again, he starts to unravel a devious crime ring.

Director: Albert de Courville
Stars: Edmund Lowe, Constance Cummings, Thomy Bourdelle
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Dan Curly sends two hitmen to kill double-crossing Flicker Hayes, who retreats to a small village with ex-prostitute Rose to hide.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Victor Jory
Action | Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

This movie follows an arrogant undisciplined stunt pilot (James Cagney) as he enters the Marines and becomes a disciplined pilot. Familiar faces of co-stars Pat O'Brien, Frank McHugh and Margaret Lindsay add to the cast.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Margaret Lindsay
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A successful ex-boxer opens a high-class speakeasy in what once was the childhood home of a formerly rich society girl.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: George Raft, Constance Cummings, Wynne Gibson
Private Lives (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace. Both couples go to a hotel on the same day and are put in ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Reginald Denny
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rich industrialist Walter Connolly feels unwanted by his wife and children so he hires unemployed Ginger Rogers to pose as his mistress.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Walter Connolly, Verree Teasdale
The Actress (1953)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Former seaman Clinton Jones now works at a lowly job. His daughter Ruth wants to become an actress. Clinton gets fired and Ruth rejects the advances of Fred Whitmarsh. Her father gives her ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Jean Simmons, Teresa Wright


Complete credited cast:
Mrs. Delano (as Lucille LaVerne)
Harry Delano
Ray Gallagher ...


Ma Delano (La Verne) runs a boardwalk penny arcade, living upstairs with her sons (Cagney and Gallagher) and daughter (Knapp). Story involves rum running, accidental murder and a frame-up. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Romance






Release Date:

11 October 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Women in Love  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of James Cagney. Cagney was signed for the film, along with Joan Blondell, at the insistence of Al Jolson, who had seen the pair in the Broadway stage version, originally titled, "Penny Arcade," bought the rights, and insisted that they repeat their performances in the Warner Brothers film. Interestingly, though Cagney owed his film start to Jolson, the two would never meet. See more »


When Harry pulls down the window shade, the light in the room only darkens after the shade is clear at the bottom of the window. See more »


Harry Delano: I was out with nobody, I tell ya!
Mrs. Delano: Then, where was you?
Harry Delano: I-I went to a Turkish bath.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Seeing Blondell and Cagney on screen for the first time makes it worthwhile
22 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This busy little film that was originally entitled "Penny Arcade" was retitled "Sinners Holiday" for no other reason than the fact that there were several films put out in 1930 with "Holiday" in the title that were successful. This film may have its fair share of sinners, but nobody is really on holiday in this fast-talking fast-paced little piece of Vitaphone history.

James Cagney starts out his career with Warner Brothers pretty much where he ended it - crying on his mother's lap just as he did in "White Heat" - the lap of a mother that will do anything to keep her baby out of trouble. Cagney plays Harry Delano, a tough guy who thinks he's tougher and smarter than he really is. His family runs the Penny Arcade in the amusement park. Evelyn Knapp plays his sister, Jennie. Jennie is in love with amusement park smart guy Angel Harrigan (Grant Withers), an ex-con and handyman at the arcade who has the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time when Ma Delano needs a fall guy to save her son Harry. It also doesn't help any that Ma Delano doesn't approve of Jennie's plans to marry Angel.

James Cagney gets more screen time in his first film than he does in any film until he gets his big break in Public Enemy. There is also a pretty good role for Joan Blondell in her first screen appearance as Myrtle, some-time girlfriend of Harry - also someone Ma Delano doesn't approve of. Who exactly did Ma Delano think her kids were going to wind up with while working in the amusement park? Wall Street types?

How did Cagney and Blondell end up together in this film, you might ask? Al Jolson bought the film rights to the Broadway production of "Penny Arcade" and would only sell it to Warner Brothers if Cagney and Blondell reprised their roles. Why he did this nobody knows, since Al Jolson was hardly known as a benefactor. However, in doing this he saved Warner Brothers a second time. The first time was in putting the studio on top in talking pictures, this second time he gift wrapped two actors that were perfect for the urban look and feel that the studio had been going for but had been having a rough time succeeding in getting right with the actors they were employing.

In summary, this film is full of the interesting minor characters, urban slang, and fast talking that make the early talking Warner Brothers films so much fun.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
TCM Summer under stars Joan Blondell borodinrodin
Cagney's first movie not available on video! TerranceCrooms
Discuss Sinners' Holiday (1930) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: