Laughing Sinners (1931)
Release Date: May 30, 1931
Directed by: Harry Beaumont
Available on DVD through The Warner Brothers Archive Collection
Gable is Carl, a saintly Salvation Army officer who rescues Ivy (Crawford), distraught over being dumped by her boyfriend (Hamilton), from jumping off a bridge. Under Carl’s influence, Ivy gives up her hard-drinking, hard-partying nightclub lifestyle and joins the Salvation Army. Temptation proves to be too great though, when her ex-lover returns and she falls back into old habits.
Photoplay magazine, September 1932 (reviewed under its original title, “Complete Surrender”)
Joan Crawford is emotionally great in a sordid story you probably won’t like. This psychologically sound character, a caberet dancer who turns to the Salvation Army only to find she’s human after all, is not the Joan of “Our Blushing Brides,” but she’s grand. Guy Kibee, the only comedy relief, is perfect. Neil Hamilton, unsympathetic, gives an excellent performance.
“Here, here! You can’t do that!” first line
“I kinda hate to leave you alone, feeling so down. I’d like to take you home with me.”
“No, I’m not very much worried about your soul. I was just hoping to preserve that nice, friendly grin for something worthwhile.”
“It’s funny how living for others makes you forget yourself.”
“I just want you to be happy, whatever you do. But if you’re going back because of what you’ve done, you don’t need to, Ivy. We all stumble. All we can do is pick ourselves up again and go on and on and on until we find ourselves through our own mistakes.”
“I guess you know where I’ll be if you want me.” last line
Behind the Scenes:
Filmed immediately after Dance Fools Dance.
The original title was “Complete Surrender”.
Johnny Mack Brown was originally cast as Carl. At a preview, audiences laughed at his performance and lack of chemistry with Crawford. MGM replaced him with Gable and re-shot all of his scenes.
Based on the 1930 play “Torch Song.”