The character of Lela is based on infamous torch singer Libby Holman, and the character of Ted Rendon is based on tobacco heir Zachary Smith Reynolds, who married Holman on November 16, 1931 and was found shot dead in their home on July 6, 1932. The death was originally ruled a suicide, but a coroner's inquiry later decided it was murder. Holman was suspected of having killed her husband for his inheritance but was never prosecuted for the crime. See more »
SING SINNER SING apparently was remade as a Carole Lombard film A Brief MOMENT and later The Jean Harlow film RECKLESS. I am sure it is not the first time a poverty row production was picked up by the majors and re churned into an A list feature. SING SINNER SING is an extremely well made and at times quite lavish film from tiny indie Majestic Pictures, one of the many small outfits who produced above their weight in the early 30s. Often a company like this was just an office without a studio. What they created well was a plan to hire sets and costumes from big budget films which were just wrapped; Majestic would hire the standing sets and available costumes and shoot either at night or the week the bigger film finished and while the sets still stood. As a result they got to use studio facilities they could never afford to own but could hire and make their own film allowing for a veneer of quality. Many of these films were made at RKO Pathe Studios (or at TIFFANY after they stopped production) in 1933, TIFFANY were very well equipped but ceased production in 1932, and RKO was in dire financial need in late '32, so there was plenty of great sets costumes and fittings and furniture available for a tiny production outfit to make a lavish film without owning a stick of wood. SING SINNER SING moves from gambling ship to a mansion on shore and into high society. It is all about an irresponsible playboy and his torch singer bride and how his parents sneer at her as being too lowly for him. However he does love her and fights their snobbery. A terrific subplot involves a rich benefactor and an amazing murder trial. There is robbery, drunken parties, sneering ermine clad parents, and a court case with a jawdropper of a revelation. SING SINNER SING also has a song exactly like the Fanny Brice hit MY MAN. SING SINNER SING is a hard film to find and the print on the DVD that I saw was very lumpy. However for a no budget film it pulls off the very creative feat of an almost A level film that clearly was good enough to be copied by the majors twice over.
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