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Laughing Sinners (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 30 May 1931 (USA)
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.



(play), (continuity) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Howard 'Howdy' Palmer
Carl Loomis
Cass Wheeler
Fred Geer
Gertrude Short ...
George Cooper ...
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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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
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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 »


Carl Loomis: [to Ivy] If you love him, and you want to go back to him, I'm not the one to set myself up as a guide. I just want you to be happy - whatever you do - but if you're going back because of what you've done, you don't need to, Ivy. We all stumble. All we can do is pick ourselves up again and go on and on and on until we find ourselves through our own mistakes. It won't make any difference to me, Ivy. I want you to know that...
[He turns to go but stops]
Carl Loomis: I guess you know where I'll be if you want me.
See more »


Featured in Fast Workers (1933) See more »


Onward Christian Soldiers
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Words by Sabine Baring-Gould
Sung by the Salvation Army members
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User Reviews

Temptation / Salvation
6 June 2004 | by (The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

"Laughing sinners" was a pleasant surprise to me. I never knew what a good actress Joan Crawford was until I saw this film. I saw her rather exaggerating performance in "Grand Hotel", and a better performance in 1931's "Possessed", but here she is totally convincing and real. There are moments of great beauty, especially the scenes between Crawford and Clark Gable, moments when the film shows a timeless quality. Gable and Crawford are completely believable as the Salvation Army officers : sincere, vulnerable and intense. Clark Gable in a very unusual role - wise, calm, sensitive and understanding - It makes him powerful in a subtle way. Neil Hamilton is terrific especially in the scene - a very long uninterrupted take ! - when he tries to persuade and seduce Joan Crawford - for a night of bliss. Can he offer her salvation ?

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