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

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4.9/10   415 votes »
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Up 50% 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 few excellent scenes make up for slow pace, predictable plot 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?

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 »
Ruby:I'll try anything once!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Fast Workers (1933)See more »
London Bridge Is Falling DownSee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
A few excellent scenes make up for slow pace, predictable plot, 15 December 2011
Author: csteidler from Minnesota

Joan Crawford is a café dancer whose long term, long distance affair with traveling salesman Neil Hamilton comes crashing to a finish when he dumps her by leaving her a goodbye note written on the back of a menu. Despondent, she sets out to jump into the river, only to be stopped and saved (in more than one sense) by mustache-less Salvation Army officer Clark Gable. Next thing you know, Joan is sporting an Army uniform herself and singing hymns….but sooner or later, Hamilton is bound to show up again. And what then?

The plot isn't much, but Crawford's performance is excellent as her character veers wildly from joyous flapper to reformed sinner. The scene where she reads Hamilton's note is stunningly sad. Gable never looks quite natural but does seem to contain a reservoir of strength and energy that lurks just beneath the surface of his peaceful character. –At least that's my view from this time and place; hard to imagine what effect his performance would have had on a 1931 audience just becoming familiar with that face, that screen presence.

The highlight of the film is almost certainly Joan's dance in an opening scene—donning a fake nose and beard and a farmer outfit, she humorously bounces around for a couple of minutes before shedding the costume and really cutting loose, to her audience's delight and her own obvious joy. It has to be said that Joan as flapper is quite a bit more exciting than Joan as saved woman.

Hamilton is superb in a thoroughly despicable role. Roscoe Karns and Guy Kibbee are fellow salesman and together they certainly portray the kind of sleazy crew who inspire good people to lock up their daughters.

Overall—no surprises but Crawford is certainly worth watching, especially the opening and closing minutes.

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