30 user 10 critic

Laughing Sinners (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 30 May 1931 (USA)
Cabaret performer Ivy Stevens in an affair with a low-rent traveling salesman is dumped in a 'Dear Jane' letter and finds solace in joining the Salvation Army.


Harry Beaumont


Kenyon Nicholson (play), Edith Fitzgerald (additional dialogue)




Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Ivy Stevens
Neil Hamilton ... Howard 'Howdy' Palmer
Clark Gable ... Carl Loomis
Marjorie Rambeau ... Ruby
Guy Kibbee ... Cass Wheeler
Cliff Edwards ... Mike
Roscoe Karns ... Fred Geer
Gertrude Short ... Edna
George Cooper ... Joe
George F. Marion ... Humpty
Bert Woodruff ... Tink


Cafe entertainer Ivy Stevens falls for sleazy salesman Howard Palmer and jumps from a bridge when he dumps her. Saved by Salvation Army officer Carl, Ivy reforms and joins the Army. When she runs into Palmer she falls for him all over again. Carl beats up Palmer and gives a speech to Ivy which induces her to return to the Army and to Carl. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


America's Dancing Daughter in a Salvation Army Uniform-the dramatic triumph of her career. (Print Ad-Heppner Gazette-Times, ((Heppner, Ore.)) 27 August 1931) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Kenyon Nicholson's play, "Torch Song," opened on 27 August 1930 on Broadway in New York City. Guy Kibbee originated the role of Cass Wheeler in that production. See more »


One year after Howard marries his wealthy boss's daughter he is still a traveling salesman, staying in cheap hotels. The only reason for him to do so is in order for him to meet Ivy again, but it is absurd that his socialite wife would want her husband doing such a job. He could have encountered Ivy in some other way. See more »


Ivy 'Bunny' Stevens: [to Carl walking away] Oh, and thanks for saving my life. I'll drop a quarter in your tambourine some time.
See more »


Featured in Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) See more »


London Bridge Is Falling Down
Sung by Joan Crawford to a child
See more »

User Reviews

A Tribute to Hair, Makeup & the Publicity Department
10 March 2012 | by TimeForLimeSee all my reviews

Fans of 1930s-1940s films HAVE TO see Clark Gable in this film. Before his studio handlers figured out how to make him a stud, he was unmemorable and frankly not all that handsome. Weak chin and all that. In this film, the camera seldom shoots him straight on.

Just three years later, Gable would star with Claudette Colbert in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT and rock the hearts of female fans everywhere. And then in 1939 there was ,,, ,,, GONE WITH THE WIND.

The other User Reviews here for LAUGHING SINNERS a/k/a COMPLETE SURRENDER are more than sufficient; no need to repeat what they've already said. My hope is that you'll watch this as the BEFORE photo of Gable, and then see what the backstage experts of Hair, Make-up Studio Publicity were able to do with this (almost) sallow-faced young man -- to create the AFTER Gable that was to come. No wonder they hand out Oscars for the Great Ones in categories beyond just Best Film, Actor and Director.

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English | Italian

Release Date:

30 May 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Complete Surrender See more »


Box Office


$338,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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