My Sin (1931)

Passed  |   |  Drama  |  3 October 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 60 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

In Panama, notorious nightclub hostess Carlotta kills a man in self-defense and is arrested for murder. Defending her at her trial is Dick Grady, a lawyer who has wasted his talent on ... See full summary »



(adaptation), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Credited cast:
Carlotta / Ann Trevor
Dick Grady
Roger Metcalf
Larry Gordon
Anne Sutherland ...
Mrs. Gordon
Margaret Adams ...
Paula Marsden
Lily Cahill ...
Helen Grace
Jay Fassett ...
James Bradford
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Blore ...


In Panama, notorious nightclub hostess Carlotta kills a man in self-defense and is arrested for murder. Defending her at her trial is Dick Grady, a lawyer who has wasted his talent on alcohol. When he proves Carlotta's innocence, however, he regains respect and employment. Dick goes to Carlotta's apartment to thank her, and arrives just in time to keep her from committing suicide. He agrees that while the persona of Carlotta must die, the woman inside must go on and start anew. Loaning her his advance money, Carlotta and Dick create a new identity for her as "Ann Trevor," and she moves to New York. Through various letters and repayment checks, Dick learns that Carlotta is happy and successful and falls in love with her. He relocates to New York, where Carlotta is employed as an interior decorator and is engaged to wealthy Larry Gordon. Carlotta is happy to see Dick again, but is dismayed to learn that he is in love with her. Dick believes she is deceiving Larry because she does not ... Written by denzoid

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Release Date:

3 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meu Pecado  »

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1.20 : 1
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One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

Two people help each other climb from the abyss
26 December 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fredric March plays Dick Grady, an American attorney in Panama who has become a hopeless alcoholic despite efforts by a local attorney to give him a job and help him recover. Eventually he has to fire Dick because all he wants to do is drink. In a separate story, Tallulah Bankhead plays Carlotta, a nightclub performer. One night a man she apparently knows barges into her rented room and demands money, there is a struggle, and a gun goes off with the man dead. Carlotta is charged with murder although she claims the gun went off accidentally. No other attorney will touch her case because they don't want the publicity of being involved in such a sordid affair. However, Dick Grady has nothing to lose. The challenge is just what he needs to clean up and get sober.

Dick wins Carlotta's freedom, but only after he reveals her whole sordid story in open court- that Carlotta was from the Midwest, she thought she was marrying the man she killed but it turned out the marriage was not legal, thus being what in those days was considered "damaged goods" she could not return to her family and was brought down to debauchery by her common-law husband until the struggle for the gun that accidentally went off and killed the blackguard that ruined her. So with her whole story revealed, she gains her freedom but loses her job, her landlady kicks her out, and she is just about to swallow poison when Dick rushes in and stops her. He tells her she needs to "kill" Carlotta once and for all, take a new name, and start over back in America. Dick has impressed a local lawyer so much with his handling of Carlotta's case that he now has a job, and he stakes her the money she needs to get a fresh start.

Time passes, Carlotta becomes a well known decorator in New York, and is about to marry into a prominent family. This intersects with the now successful Dick paying a visit to New York and running into her. Carlotta - now Ann Trevor - tells Dick she has never told her fiancé about her past and never intends to do so. Unfortunately for Ann, while at her fiancé's house, she runs into an old family friend of her fiancé's family, Roger Metcalf, who just happened to be present at her murder trial in Panama. She claims she is not Carlotta of Panama, so Roger dials up Dick and asks him to come over to identify her. Will he lie for her? Will she tell the truth anyways? The fly in the ointment here is that Dick realized before he ever came to New York that he loved Ann, so this complicates his possible action. What will he do? Watch and find out.

I think the title "My Sin" says it all. The film considers Carlotta to be the sinner even though her initial naiveté when she met her "husband" was her downfall in the first place. There is a well done scene when Carlotta/Ann is in New York with her hearing a tune that she used to sing in Panama being played by an organ grinder on the street. She looks out the window and sees her past actions overlaid with the view of the organ grinder on the street. Dick, on the other hand, fell apart in Panama just because he wanted to, and despite good jobs that would have allowed him to pick up the pieces. Yet he is allowed to just sober up and fly right and nobody ever questions his past because A. his "sin" involved alcohol not sex and because B. he is a man.

This film was very well acted by the entire cast. I'd recommend it if it ever comes your way.

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