19 user 4 critic

The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931)

Passed | | Drama | 24 October 1931 (USA)
Out of jail for a crime she did not commit, Madelon turns to prostitution and thievery to send her illegitimate son to medical school.



(play), (dialogue continuity)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Min and Bill (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Min, the owner of a dockside hotel, is forced to make difficult decisions about the future of Nancy, the young woman she took in as an infant.

Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Dorothy Jordan
Anna Christie I (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
Dangerous (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An alcoholic actress who is considered a dangerous jinx is rehabilitated, but she then shows that she's as dangerous as ever.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
A Free Soul (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But ... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Franklin, Victor Fleming, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Paul Muni, Luise Rainer, Walter Connolly
Coquette (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A flirtatious southern belle is compromised with one of her beaus.

Director: Sam Taylor
Stars: Mary Pickford, Johnny Mack Brown, Matt Moore
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Emma (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After decades of raising the motherless Smith children, housekeeper Emma Thatcher is faced with resentment when she marries their father.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Marie Dressler, Richard Cromwell, Jean Hersholt
The Champ I (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An American ambulance driver and an English nurse fall in love in Italy during World War I.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, Adolphe Menjou
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner


Complete credited cast:
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Lennox Pawle ...
St. Jacques
Russ Powell ...


French country girl Madelon falls for artist Larry, who leaves her after she becomes pregnant. She finds help from jewel thief Carlo, but he commits suicide when the police try to arrest him. Madelon is arrested and receives a ten year term in prison for assisting him in his profession. To support her son, who does not know that she's been in prison, she becomes a street walker, allowing him to attend medical school. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

24 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Sünde der Madelon Claudet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Edward Knoblock's play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 17 September 1923 and closed in January 1924 after 144 performances. The opening night cast included May Robson, Rose Hobart, Frank Morgan, Leonard Mudie and Charles Trowbridge. See more »


Rosalie Lebeau: OOOh, I wish I'd killed you before I ever met you!
See more »


Referenced in Parade of the Award Nominees (1932) See more »


Waltz #15 in A flat major ('Lullaby'), Op.39
(1865) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played during the opening credits and at the end
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The definitive "sacrificing mother" saga of the 1930s
28 October 2002 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Helen Hayes makes an astonishing film debut here as the title character, a young woman who runs off with her poor beau and has a child. Through ensuing (and realistic) circumstances, she goes through the transitions of being a destitute country girl, a jewel thief's lover, a prison inmate and finally becoming a haggard vagrant. All of these incidents, at the expense of her own pleasure, are done in order to secure a place in life for her son as a prominent physician. At only 73 minutes, one would expect these changes to occur at somewhat of a breakneck speed, but the movie moves along at a leisurely and elegiac pace. Hayes won herself a well-deserved Academy Award for her luminous performance in this ultimate 1930s tearjerker.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I do wish they'd release this on DVD... bjnevin
Help! missed something important prenzie-1
Discuss The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: