Sin Takes a Holiday

1930

Comedy / Romance

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 56%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 56% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.1/10 10 767 767

Director

Top cast

Basil Rathbone as Reggie Durant
Zasu Pitts as Annie
Constance Bennett as Sylvia Brenner
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
743.84 MB
1280*988
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 21 min
Seeds 9
1.35 GB
1400*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 21 min
Seeds 21

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10

enjoyable and interesting early talkie

"Sin Takes a Holiday" stars Constance Bennett as a secretary in love with her boss - how's that for a novel plot line? Well, perhaps in 1930, it was, and there is more to it than that. It's an early talkie, so the timing is a little off as the actors get used to the technique. It's also pre-Code, so anything goes. And does. In this film, everybody cheats on their spouses. The boss, however, is unmarried, but his girlfriend wants to get married to him right away. So he marries Bennett and sends her abroad so he can have his cake and eat it too. While there, Bennett is escorted about by Basil Rathbone, in a delightful performance. He falls in love with her, but Bennett needs to find out if she can have a real marriage with her husband.

Having read some of the comments, I'm unsure if people think that Bennett was amoral. The marriage for opportunity plot was used over and over - "Mannequin" is just one example - and Bennett marries her boss to do him a favor, not so much for the money. Plus, the title is "Sin Takes a Holiday" and it does seem that she avoids a dalliance with Rathbone while abroad. So while I find the crowd her boss runs with fast and loose, I did feel Bennett was a very likable character. Not to mention, a great beauty.

Reviewed by mateox 6 / 10

Interesting pre-Code comedy, ultimately unsatisfying

This pre-Code comedy is more interesting for its decor and reflection of the morals of the day than for its acting or story. The plot revolves around three characters, each in love with the one who isn't in love with her or him. Things work out in a way--two characters find each other and the third is left to move on. All this happens in an atmosphere of wealth, where amoral dalliance is both expected and titillating. An unfortunate effect is that the three characters come off as facile and, ultimately, unlikeable, the comedic talents of Bennett and the imposing presence of Rathbone notwithstanding. Despite the dismissal of a group of morally repugnant friends at the end, I didn't believe in the couple's future happiness--nor in the morally bankrupt world they inhabit and seem to enjoy. And I felt sorry for the one left out. He seemed the only character with a conscience. The always delightful presence of Zazu Pitts should be noted, though she plays a small role in the plot development. Enjoy this film for the marvelously fantastic Art Deco sets and wonderful period gowns. But ultimately, the resolution of the plot leaves one unsatisfied.

Reviewed by Ursula_Two_Point_Seven_T 6 / 10

Witty dialogue + interesting glimpse into the past

Not great, but certainly I enjoyed watching this fun little oldie. I'll probably forget about it a week from now, so I'd better review it while it's still fresh! I enjoyed the (sometimes) witty dialogue which often had double-entendres or hidden meanings. Constance Bennett had some of the best lines.

A group of four well-off men (Gaylord (Kenneth MacKenna), Reggie (Basil Rathbone), and two others) socialize together, each with a beautiful girl on their arm. The two married men are seeing single girls (possibly call girls? it seemed to hint at that only very briefly at the beginning of the film), and the two single men go for married women. Reggie actually only dates women in Europe -- he goes there to "play" but in his home city of New York remains unencumbered, truly a no-strings-attached bachelor/playboy.

Gaylord's married girlfriend is itching to get a divorce and snag Gaylord as husband #3 or #4. Gaylord has no desire to get married, and so to solve this problem he gets married (yes I wrote that sentence correctly!) -- he enters into a loveless, marriage of convenience with his secretary so that he can't be snagged into marriage by his girlfriend. He then sends his wife/secretary off to Europe with a tidy sum of money for her troubles so that he can continue his playboy ways.

It was interesting to see the morals (or lack thereof!) that so many of the characters exhibited as well as what the "rules" of the day were regarding divorce. As there was no such thing as a 'no fault divorce' back then, often elaborate excuses needed to be fabricated (as we see Gaylord, a divorce attorney himself, rattling off to his secretary regarding his various female clients who need new excuses for their third or fourth divorces). Another way out of marriage was proved infidelity - emphasis on proved - and this involved naming a "correspondent", i.e., the person with whom the cheating married spouse was having an affair. One part I didn't quite understand was when one of Gaylord's married male friends told him that the best way to fool around with married women was if you were married yourself, that way you couldn't be named correspondent in a potential divorce. So, only *single* men (or women) could be named correspondents??? I didn't understand if that was indeed true for real life at the time, or if it was just some not-very-well-explained plot device for getting Gaylord to enter into his sham marriage in order to set up the main plot of the movie.

Well, that's just a little sidebar tangent I went off on. The main plot of the movie involves a love triangle (square?) of sorts between Gaylord, his wife/secretary (Sylvia, played by Constance Bennett), and Reggie. Seems like Sylvia loves Gaylord, or at least would like him to love her; Reggie pursues Sylvia (he's a raging playboy so is it just the challenge of the conquest or does he really love her?); and then there's Gaylord who seems to be interested in his wife, but only after he's sent her off to Europe and he sees pictures in the newspaper society section of his lovely transformed wife hanging out at the races with Reggie. Throw Gaylord's married girlfriend into the mix and you've got a love "square" instead of triangle.

The above sets the movie's plot into motion; the remainder of the movie is to see who will be honest with whom and how all these people and couplings will end up.

I enjoyed Basil Rathbone in this flick -- I've never seen him in his most famous incarnation as Sherlock Holmes, I've only seen him in two other movies, where he played a real b*st*rd in both (David Copperfield and Anna Karenina), so it was nice to see him in a different type of role here. Constance Bennett was pretty good -- she plays better at lighter comedy, this seemed just a tad too sophisticated for her, but she did a good job nonetheless; no complaints really. And I really enjoyed Kenneth MacKenna, although judging from his resume here on IMDb, it looks like I probably won't be seeing him in any other movie any time soon, unless TCM pulls something really obscure out of its vault. I wonder why Mr. MacKenna made so few films -- he was a nice enough looking man in this flick and handled the acting fairly well. Hmmm, who knows. He lived into the 1960s. With the exception of 3 films in the last three years of his life, IMDb shows his film career as non-existent between 1933-1960. Maybe he decided the movie biz wasn't for him.

Overall score: 6/10

Edited 9/21/06 to add: I am reading a book on Kay Francis and was interested to learn that Kenneth MacKenna was married to Kay for about 3-4 years in the early 30s (they were divorced in early 1934). He preferred being behind the camera directing rather than out in front, so that explains his disappearance from film acting after 1933.

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