6.7/10
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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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Rosalie
...
Alice
...
Photographer
...
Hubert
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Roget
Lennox Pawle ...
St. Jacques
Russ Powell ...
Claudet
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Sünde der Madelon Claudet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to 'When the Lion Roars,' Irving Thalberg and his producers were previewing films one night and he asked to see this one. Told it was hopeless, he asked to put it on anyway. After watching it, he remarked that it wasn't bad; the main thing to do was change the last seven minutes. Re-takes were done and Helen Hayes went on to win the Oscar for the part. See more »

Quotes

Madelon Claudet: You know, it's the queerest thing. When I was a little girl, Father Matthew used to say to us children, "You pay for everything - everything in this life." And last night when we were dancing, I thought of him, and I laughed to myself and said, "What an old fool you are, Father Matthew..." But he was right. And I'm paying.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Il était une bergère (There Was a Shepherdess)
(uncredited)
Traditional French children's song
Sung a cappella by an unidentified drunk who picks up Madelon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
more fine work from Helen Hayes
17 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The consummate Helen Hayes distinguishes this "fallen woman" film which would be only okay without her. The story resembles MADAME X, especially in the relationship between disgraced mother and clueless son. Starting as a farm girl in Normandy smitten with an American student (Neil Hamilton), Hayes progresses (or declines) to washerwoman, unwed mother, mistress to a wealthy crook (Lewis Stone), convict, high-class prostitute, streetwalker, aged derelict. She gets to play the spectrum of human emotions and vary her appearance from homely-wholesome to high glamour to harridan, from supreme confidence to abject humility. And she does it all with flying colors. Just as a study in good acting, this is worth a look. If anyone deserved an Oscar that year, it was she. And she got it.

The representations of prostitution are blatant, but no more so than in many other films of this period before the 1934 censorship clamp-down.


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