The film was condemned by the Legion of Decency for presenting material "unfit for the screen" - it was about preventing venereal disease among teenagers, which the Legion for some reason seemed to think wasn't a good idea - and was also released without a Production Code Authority seal of approval. See more »
Fair to poor production values and some dangerous misinformation.
"No Greater Sin" is a fictionalized film about a campaign in an unnamed city to halt the spread of syphilis. There are two parallel stories in the film--the work of the health commissioner to educate and alert the public as well as one specific case where a man is diagnosed--only to be treated by a quack and to suffer the dreaded consequences.
This is a very low budget exploitation film all about the scourge of syphilis. Because the budget was so low, much of the acting is pretty poor--though somehow the folks making this film were able to get Leon Ames in the lead. Ames would become a familiar face in films in the years following "No Greater Sin", though here he is still a struggling actor. Obviously if he had been a premier actor at that time, he never would have done a VD film like this.
Unfortunately, while the production values are only fair, the information in the film is occasionally suspect as well. While it purports of dispense information about the disease, the movie gets some of its facts wrong as well as dances around the subject--possibly because most audiences of the day would have been unwilling to see an accurate and blunt discussion of sexually transmitted diseases. For example, at one point the doctor (Ames) tells people that you can catch syphilis from a drinking glass--and they never really say it comes from sex! And, although the film says that it is important that syphilis is dealt with openly and honestly, they often avoid any meaningful discussion of the problem. On the plus side, however, they do use the dreaded p-word ('prostitute')--a bit of a surprise--though how prostitutes are related to syphilis is anyone's guess if they are relying on the film to explain this! Heaven help someone if this film is their only form of sex education!! By the way, although this isn't a very good film, it's not bad enough or shrill enough to make it funny or a cult movie. While there are a lot of unintentionally funny exploitation films, this isn't one of them.
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