6.7/10
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19 user 6 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)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A studio cast list, dated 15 June 1931, lists the following performers (and character names), all of whom were replaced and did not appear in the movie: William Bakewell (Jacques), Tenen Holtz (Emil), Lloyd Ingraham (Claudet), Claire McDowell (Angeline), Bradley Page (Salignac), Aileen Pringle (Suzette) and Margaret Seddon (Grandmother). In the final rewritten script, many of these characters were eliminated. A modern source lists Otto Hoffman in the cast as "Official," but he was not seen in the movie. 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 MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) 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
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User Reviews

 
Great performance by Helen Hayes
1 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Helen Hayes is well worthy of the Oscar she won for her performance in this one. The role required her to play a young lover, single mother, wealthy socialite, prisoner, prostitute, and beaten-down old woman, and she did so brilliantly. I found her beautiful and a great actor, particularly at a time when overacting was the norm. The scene where she responds with a humorous puffy facial expression to a question about what someone is like is priceless. Her suggestions of lasciviousness using only her eyes are also great; while the movie is pre-Code and has a suggestive title, it's quite tame. We're all rooting for because she's been driven to such depths quite unfairly, and because she's made the incredible sacrifice of separating herself from her son, so that he can pursue being a doctor, unencumbered by her shame, which back then would have stopped him. It leads to a pretty syrupy ending, but was balanced for the most part, and the supporting cast is also strong.


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