Laughing Sinners (1931)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  30 May 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 390 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 7 critic

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.



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Complete credited cast:
Howard 'Howdy' Palmer
Carl Loomis
Marjorie Rambeau ...
Cass Wheeler
Fred Geer
Gertrude Short ...
George Cooper ...
George F. Marion ...
Bert Woodruff ...


Cafe entertainer Ivy Stevens falls for sleazy salesman Howard Palmer and jumps from a bridge when he dumps her. Saved by Salvation Army officer Carl, Ivy reforms and joins the Army. When she runs into Palmer she falls for him all over again. Carl beats up Palmer and gives a speech to Ivy which induces her to return to the Army and to Carl. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

30 May 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Complete Surrender  »

Box Office


$338,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Marjorie Rambeau, who played one of Crawford's fellow showgirls would play Crawford's mother 22 years later and receive an Oscar nomination for her role in a musical film called "Torch Song," ironically, the title of the original story "Laughing Sinners" is based on. See more »


Howard 'Howdy' Palmer: [annoyed and impatiently waiting to get by a kissing Ivy and Howdy] Well, anytime you get through.
Ivy 'Bunny' Stevens: Mister, we never get through.
See more »


Featured in Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) See more »


Brighten the Corner Where You Are
Music by Charles Gabriel
Words by Ina Duley Ogden
Sung by Joan Crawford and the Salvation Army members
See more »

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User Reviews

Joan sings and does the `farmer dance'
25 August 2002 | by (Corrales, NM) – See all my reviews

Interesting early talkie with Joan as a laughing sinner who is then cast aside by her love interest and saved by Clark Gable and the Salvation Army. Having seen Cary Grant previously as a temperance league type (`She Done Him Wrong'), I was able to accept Gable in this same role. Good moral messages as we see how traveling men use `loose' women in small towns and the good that is done by organizations like the Salvation Army.

Aside from that, the best part of the movie is watching Joan dance made up to look like a farmer – with a long noses and a long goatee. She sings and dances as well as anyone. Of course switching later into Adrian-designed gowns makes for an interesting contrast. Early in the movie, there is a great facial shot of Joan as she anticipates meeting her boyfriend upstairs in the cabaret. This is a good story and makes for a pleasant hour and a quarter entertainment. Recommended.

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