They Call It Sin

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User Ratings: 18
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Movie Info

Though only 19, Loretta Young was an established Hollywood star in 1932, appearing in six films in that year alone. In They Call It Sin, Young plays Marion, a church organist in a picturesque Kansas village. She falls in love with visiting city slicker Jimmy (David Manners) -- who, worse luck, is already married to Enid (Helen Vinson). Arriving in New York to try her luck as a songwriter, Marion continues to be strung along by Jimmy, while faithful Tony (George Brent), who has loved her all along, suffers in stoic silence. All the various plot strands are neatly tied up when Humphries (Louis Calhern), a cagey theatrical producer with evil designs on Marion, takes a headlong plunge from his penthouse apartment. They Call It Sin was based on a novel by Alberta Stedman Eagan.

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Cast

Loretta Young
as Marion Cullen
David Manners
as James E. 'Jimmie' Decker
George Brent
as Dr. Tony Travers
Una Merkel
as Dixie Dare
Louis Calhern
as Ford Humphries
Joseph Cawthorn
as Mr. Hollister
Helen Vinson
as Enid Hollister
Nella Walker
as Mrs. Hollister
Erville Alderson
as Timothy Cullen
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Critic Reviews for They Call It Sin

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Audience Reviews for They Call It Sin

  • Dec 04, 2018
    Perhaps a better title for this one would have been Men Behaving Badly. A poor young woman from Kansas (Loretta Young at just 19) is preyed upon by three affluent guys in New York, who on the surface are cordial and charming, but in reality are kinda sleazy. Thereâ(TM)s the businessman who is already engaged to another woman (David Manners), his doctor friend who tries to angle his way in by being alone with her (George Brent), and a producer of musicals who hires her as a pianist with one thing on his mind (Louis Calhern). Young is certainly engaging and her character stands up for herself, making the film reasonably entertaining over a good portion of it. In Kansas, she asserts herself against her old-school parents who disapprove of her staying out until midnight with a strange man, even though weâ(TM)re pretty sure she hasnâ(TM)t â~done anythingâ(TM). In New York, she leaves Manners when she finds out heâ(TM)s engaged, politely declines Brentâ(TM)s marriage proposal, and keeps things professional with Calhern, even when he suggests they enjoy breakfast together, which in this era implied sleeping together. She also raises hell with him when he steals her composition. Her character is easy-going and good hearted, but sheâ(TM)s not a pushover. Unfortunately, the film falls apart a bit during a moment of self-sacrifice on her part, followed by a ridiculous scene involving an operation. The ending is weak, as none of the characters behave in a way thatâ(TM)s believable based on what theyâ(TM)ve done or said previously, with the exception of the doctor. What started as a decent setup kinda cops out. Similarly, the filmâ(TM)s title is misleading; itâ(TM)s quite tame and is more in keeping with those youâ(TM)d see after the production code went into effect. Iâ(TM)m aware of several other pre-code films with the word â~sinâ(TM) in the title that have this characteristic, and usually itâ(TM)s a bad sign. Anyway, Loretta Young is enough to make it watchable, especially for fans of hers, but donâ(TM)t expect much else.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer

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