IMDb > They Call It Sin (1932)
They Call It Sin
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They Call It Sin (1932) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
6.3/10   395 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Alberta Stedman Eagan (based on a novel by)
Lillie Hayward (screen play) ...
View company contact information for They Call It Sin on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 November 1932 (USA) See more »
With time on his hands during a business trip, Jimmy Decker (who's engaged to his boss's daughter) romances small-town church organist Marion Cullen... See more » | Add synopsis »
(4 articles)
On TCM: Conservative Actress Young in Audacious Movies
 (From Alt Film Guide. 6 January 2015, 12:59 PM, PST)

Watch ‘Pre-Code’ Hollywood films on TCM all month
 (From SoundOnSight. 3 September 2014, 8:24 PM, PDT)

Rerelease: The Deer Hunter Review
 (From HeyUGuys. 31 July 2014, 7:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A bare minimum of frippery results in a very effective feature. See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Loretta Young ... Marion Cullen
George Brent ... Dr. Travers
Una Merkel ... Dixie Dare
David Manners ... Jimmy Decker
Helen Vinson ... Enid Hollister

Louis Calhern ... Ford Humphries
Joseph Cawthorn ... Mr. Hollister (as Joe Cawthorne)

Nella Walker ... Mrs. Hollister
Elizabeth Patterson ... Mrs. Cullen
Erville Alderson ... Mr. Cullen
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Irving Bacon ... First Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Marion Byron ... Soda Jerk (uncredited)

Roscoe Karns ... Brad - Rehearsal Director (uncredited)
John Marston ... Doctor (uncredited)
Miki Morita ... Moto - Decker's Butler (uncredited)
Clarence Nordstrom ... Singer (uncredited)
Bradley Page ... Ford's Nightclub Friend (uncredited)
Bert Roach ... Mr. Goodrich (uncredited)
Gloria Shea ... Humphries' receptionist (uncredited)
Frank Sheridan ... Police Chief (uncredited)
Sheila Terry ... Telephone Operator (uncredited)
Dorothy Coonan Wellman ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Thornton Freeland 
Writing credits
Alberta Stedman Eagan (based on a novel by)

Lillie Hayward (screen play) &
Howard J. Green (screen play)

Produced by
Hal B. Wallis .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
James Van Trees (photography)
Film Editing by
James Gibbon 
Art Direction by
Jack Okey 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
69 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
USA:Approved (PCA #2639-R, 3 September 1936 for re-release)

Did You Know?

Early in the film, Loretta Young's character refers to herself as "just a farmer's daughter." Fifteen years later, Miss Young won an Oscar for "The Farmer's Daughter."See more »
Dr. Tony Travers:[to Jimmy] ... If you're going to insist on being a jackass, I'm going to turn your case over to a veterinary.See more »
Where Are You?See more »


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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
A bare minimum of frippery results in a very effective feature., 12 March 2002
Author: rsoonsa ( from Mountain Mesa, California

A startlingly mature teenage Loretta Young stars in this fast-moving melodrama as Marion Cullen, a songwriter who leaves her Kansas home for New York City to shape a career in show business and to follow the man she loves, Jimmy Decker (David Manners), a salesman whose business junket to her home town has tied their hearts together. Decker, however, is betrothed to another (Helen Vinson) and Marion discovers that success in her new profession benefits from a relationship with Ford Humphries (Louis Calhern), an influential producer but a libertine whose demands upon her include more than her ability to craft tuneful pieces for the stage. Decker, now married, continues to harbour his love for Marion, as does his best friend, medical doctor Tony Travers (George Brent) and it remains for the young musician to decide which of the three men she will choose and what sort of position she will prefer for herself, that as mistress, wife, or other woman. Graceful Loretta Young is asked to provide acting skill instead of solely her superb bone structure, and she does so to good result in mosaical scenes, displaying a full range of emotions while making them believable and, of course, is a perfect mannequin for the Orry-Kelly gowns with which she is raimented. David Manners must rely upon more than his profile here, and the stage-trained actor performs creditably, specially so in airy scenes, while silky George Brent and shrewd Louis Calhern execute their roles well; it is Una Merkel as Dixie Dare, Marion's Gotham companion, who nearly steals the show with her rendering of a salty-mouthed, high-stepping chorus girl. The entire production benefits from the extensive cinematic background of director Thornton Freeland who utilizes an interesting assortment of camera angles, is responsible for the crisp cutting and editing and handles his extras with sureness, with only the abrupt final minutes barring the work from achieving a higher aesthetic plane.

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