SIN TAKES A HOLIDAY (director: Paul L. Stein; screenwriters: Horace Jackson/story by Dorothy Cairns & Robert Milton; cinematographer: John Mescall; editor: Daniel Mandell; music: Francis Gromon/Josiah Zuro; cast: Constance Bennett (Sylvia Brenner), Kenneth MacKenna (Gaylord Stanton), Basil Rathbone (Reginald “Reggie” Durant), Rita La Roy (Grace Lawrence), Louis John Bartels (Richards), John Roche (Sheridan), Zasu Pitts (Anna “Annie”); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: E.B. Derr; RKO; 1930)
“A sophisticated set in Manhattan romcom for its time is now, of course, dated.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A sophisticated set in Manhattan romcom for its time is now, of course, dated. Director Paul L. Stein (“Blossom Time”/”Lisbon Story”/”Murder on the Air”)can never free it of its stiffness and predictability. It plods along on its amoral liberated plot involving a wealthy socialite divorce lawyer named Gaylord Stanton (Kenneth MacKenna), who offers his working-class secretary Sylvia Brenner (Constance Bennett) a unique business proposition in a pretense marriage so he can continue seeing the three time divorcee socialite Grace Lawrence (Rita La Roy) without being forced into marrying her. The fake marriage does not include sexual favors and is set to last for a year. Sylvia takes a luxury boat ride to Paris and meets on board hubby’s inner circle socialite friend Reggie (Basil Rathbone).He chases after her during her Paris stay and teaches her how to dress like a socialite and she becomes the toast of Paris’s cultural elites, and the avowed bachelor proposes marriage. But she thinks she still loves Gaylord and returns to Manhattan to see if he can return the love. If not, she’s prepared to marry the wealthy bachelor Reggie.
The ahead of its time sitcom story is written by Dorothy Cairns & Robert Milton, while the screenplay is written by Horace Jackson.
The acting is fine, but the characters depicted appear as flippant twits and don’t deserve our sympathy and the comedy derived from such plot machinations can’t be gained from such a contrived story.
REVIEWED ON 6/15/2012 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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