IMDb > Laughing Sinners (1931)
Laughing Sinners
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Laughing Sinners (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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4.9/10   450 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 49% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Kenyon Nicholson (play)
Bess Meredyth (continuity)
View company contact information for Laughing Sinners on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 May 1931 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Pre-Code Hollywood: Gangsters, Monsters, and Dames
 (From CinemaNerdz. 31 January 2014, 7:20 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
A subject that was better explored in 1932's Rain See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Crawford ... Ivy 'Bunny' Stevens

Neil Hamilton ... Howard 'Howdy' Palmer

Clark Gable ... Carl Loomis

Marjorie Rambeau ... Ruby

Guy Kibbee ... Cass Wheeler

Cliff Edwards ... Mike

Roscoe Karns ... Fred Geer
Gertrude Short ... Edna

George Cooper ... Joe

George F. Marion ... Humpty

Bert Woodruff ... Tink
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Henry Armetta ... Tony (uncredited)
Jack Baxley ... Waiter (uncredited)

Clara Blandick ... Salvation Army Woman (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Poker-Playing Salesman (uncredited)

Tenen Holtz ... Poker-Playing Salesman (uncredited)

Mary Ann Jackson ... Betty (uncredited)

Karen Morley ... Estelle Seldon (photo in newspaper) (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Poker-Playing Salesman (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... Man Boarding Train (uncredited)
Suzanne Wood ... Dowager (uncredited)

Directed by
Harry Beaumont 
Writing credits
Kenyon Nicholson (play "Torch Song")

Bess Meredyth (continuity)

Edith Fitzgerald (additional dialogue)

Martin Flavin  dialogue (uncredited)

Cinematography by
Charles Rosher 
George Gordon Nogle (uncredited)
Film Editing by
George Hively 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Ryan .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Charles E. Wallace .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
George Hommel .... still photographer (uncredited)
Harry Marble .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Roy Noble .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Other crew
Mosconi .... dance arranger
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
72 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
UK:A | UK:PG (video) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Kenyon Nicholson's play, "Torch Song," opened on 27 August 1930 on Broadway in New York City. Guy Kibbee originated the role of Cass Wheeler in that production.See more »
Ruby:I'll try anything once!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Fast Workers (1933)See more »
(What Can I Do?) I Love That ManSee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
A subject that was better explored in 1932's Rain, 14 November 2009
Author: calvinnme from United States

This film is probably the weakest of the Gable/Crawford film pairings. It's not that their performances aren't great, it's just that they're not given that much to do. The storyline is very basic - Joan is a performer in a nightspot who has had a long-distance affair going with a traveling salesman, Howard Palmer (Neil Hamilton), for the past two years. He dumps her to marry the boss' daughter so he can further his career. He doesn't even have the courage to tell this to her face - he writes it on the back of a menu at the cafe and leaves before she reads it.

This action wounds Ivy (Joan) to the core, and she is about to jump off a bridge one night when she is stopped by a Salvation Army member, Carl Loomis (Clark Gable). The two become friends and pretty soon Ivy is donning a Salvation Army uniform herself. One night a year later, when Ivy and the Salvation Army are proselyting in a nearby town, she runs into her ex-lover Howard Palmer. After a year of separation Howard has decided he would like to have it both ways - he'd like to have his bang (Ivy) and his bucks (his wife of convenience). Will Ivy stand firm on her new beliefs or will she fall? This film does have a few good things going for it. In the first part of the film, when Ivy is still working in the nightclub, we get to see Joan sing and dance for an entire number. She doesn't do much of that in her long film career and it is always a treat. Then there is the somewhat ridiculous spectacle of Clark Gable as a Salvation Army worker - this is before he became known more as a charming sinner rather than a laughing one. You can chalk up that bit of casting to Louis B. Mayer. This film was originally shot with Johnny Mack Brown in the lead, but Mayer didn't like the outcome and reshot it with Gable. Finally there is Neil Hamilton as one of the most slippery characters you'll find. Hard to believe he didn't have a real career breakthrough for almost another 35 years when he was cast as Batman's Commissioner Gordon.

This whole issue of the thin line between good and evil in a person and the fact that those two sides exist in everyone is much more artfully explored in 1932's Rain, again starring Joan Crawford. That's a film I highly recommend.

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