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The Sins of the Children (1930)

Passed | | Drama | 28 June 1930 (USA)
A German immigrant to a small American town is a barber with four children. He has saved enough money to invest in a savings-and-loan company with a friend. Unfortunately, one of his sons ... See full summary »


Sam Wood (uncredited)


Elliott Nugent (story), J.C. Nugent (story) | 3 more credits »


Airs Thu. Aug. 22, 10:45 AM on TCM



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Complete credited cast:
Louis Mann ... Adolf Wagenkampf
Robert Montgomery ... Nick Higginson
Elliott Nugent ... Johnnie Wagenkampf
Leila Hyams ... Alma Wagenkampf
Clara Blandick ... Martha Wagenkampf
Mary Doran ... Laura
Francis X. Bushman Jr. ... Ludwig Wagenkampf aka Dr. Lawrence Warren
Robert McWade ... Joe Higginson
Dell Henderson ... Ted Baldwin
Henry Armetta ... Tony the Barber
Jane Reid Jane Reid ... Katherine Wagenkampf Taylor
James Donlan James Donlan ... Bide Taylor
Jeane Wood Jeane Wood ... Muriel Stokes
Lee Kohlmar Lee Kohlmar ... Dr. Heinrich Schmidt


A German immigrant to a small American town is a barber with four children. He has saved enough money to invest in a savings-and-loan company with a friend. Unfortunately, one of his sons has been stricken with tuberculosis, and the investment money goes to pay for the son's treatment in Arizona. Twenty years later, the wastrel son of the now-rich man who was to have been his partner, falls in love with the barber's daughter. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>, A. Nonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's the most powerful human story since Talkies began! (Print Ad- Rochester Journal, ((Rochester, NY)) 8 September 1930)









English | German | Italian

Release Date:

28 June 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Richest Man in the World See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film's working title and release title in the British Isles was "The Richest Man In The World", yet it is advertised as that in some American newspapers with a prepared ad mat supplied by a newspaper cut service (Not from MGM). (San Jose (Calif.) Evening News 9 July 1930). See more »


In the kitchen we see Alma decorating a cake with "Welcome Home Doctor". But later, when she goes to put the cake in the cupboard, the decoration is missing. See more »

Alternate Versions

MGM also issued this movie as a silent film. See more »


Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
("Silent Night, Holy Night") (1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung a cappella in German by the entire Wagenkampf family at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Louis Mann Performance
18 December 2005 | by zpzjonesSee all my reviews

Interesting to see others speak highly of Louis Mann in his one and only sound screen performance. Hence the only visual/aural record of his work. But for those writing why they've never heard of Mann, the reason is that he spent a very full career on the New York stage where he was very well known(www.ibdb.com). Born April 20 1865(six days after Lincoln was shot)Mann spent his youth in the theater during the 1890s-1900s. This is obviously before sound films were invented so no record of his early work is preserved. To 1930s film audiences he would have been familiar and especially to New York film audiences. Mann, like many high brow theater stars, opted to make a sound film as an 'experiment'. Not always for the money but to test the waters of a new medium. His one other film, a 1914 silent, may indicate he did not like the film medium and preferred theater acting & writing plays. Perhaps as the technology & prestige of films got better and he got older he had a change of heart. Also Mann's actress wife of many decades, Clara Lipman, was one of the dialogue writers on Sins of the Children. They were a well known stage couple coming to the big screen in a way similar to George & Florence Arliss in "Disraeli". SoTC is a good candidate to serve as a Christmas classic along with "If I Had A Million". If only MGM/Turner would release SoTC in their 'Glorious Black & White' video series. **Many fascinating pictures of Mann & Lipman can be found in Daniel Blum's "Pictorial History of the American Theater"

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