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Sin Takes A Holiday


A dowdy secretary named Sylvia Brenner (Constance Bennett) agrees to marry her rich, divorce lawyer boss Gaylord Stanton (Kenneth MacKenna) so that he can avoid a marriage to one of his regular clients. The deal is that Sylvia will get a great allowance and the ability to travel anywhere she wants. While on a trip to Paris she begins to find herself and develop into a confident, uninhibited woman. She attracts one of Gaylord's cad friends Reggie Durant (Basil Rathbone) and contemplates an "affair." The film is a early b-studio talkie which is notable for its frank treatment of moral dilemmas and the gorgeous fashions and art-deco designs.

Sin Takes a Holiday is a 1930 American romantic comedy film, directed by Paul L. Stein, from a screenplay by Horace Jackson, based on a story by Robert Milton and Dorothy Cairns. It starred Constance Bennett, Kenneth MacKenna, and Basil Rathbone. Originally produced by Pathé Exchange and released in 1930, it was part of the takeover package when RKO Pictures acquired Pathe that year, it was re-released by RKO in 1931.


Sylvia Brenner is a plain secretary sharing an apartment with her friend, Anne. Her economic condition is meager, but she makes do with what she has. She works for a womanizing divorce attorney, Gaylord Stanton, who only dates married women, since he has no intention of ever getting married, and sees wives as safe, since they already have husbands. But Sylvia is secretly in love with Gaylord. When the woman he is fooling around with, Grace Lawrence, decides to leave her husband in order to marry Gaylord, he panics. In order to avoid having to deal with the matrimonial pursuits of any of his potential dalliances, he offers a business proposal to Sylvia whereby he will provide her with financial remuneration if she will marry him in name only. She agrees.
After the sham wedding, Sylvia is sent off to Paris by Gaylord, to get her out of the way so he can continue his nightly debauchery. In Paris, she uses her money to do a serious makeover of herself. While there, she also meets her boss's old friend, Reggie Durant, who becomes enamored of her. Reggie is a sophisticated European, who introduces Sylvia to the enticements of the European lifestyle, to which she is attracted. When Reggie asks Sylvia to divorce Gaylord so that she can marry him, she is tempted, but confused, and returns home. Returning to the States, everyone takes notice of the transformed Sylvia.
Although there is a brief hiccup, as Grace puts forth a full-court offensive to win over Gaylord, Gaylord and Sylvia end up realizing that they are in love with each other.


  • Constance Bennett as Sylvia Brenner
  • Kenneth MacKenna as Gaylord Stanton
  • Basil Rathbone as Reggie Durant
  • Rita La Roy as Grace Lawrence
  • Louis John Bartels as Richards
  • John Roche (actor) as Sheridan
  • Zasu Pitts as Annie
  • Kendall Lee as Miss Munson
  • Murrell Finley as Ruth
  • Helen Johnson as Miss Graham
  • Fred Walton as the butler
(Cast list as per the AFI database) See Note #60, pg. 143</>
The film was recorded using the RCA Photophone System.< name=Theiapolis></>
Tag line for the film, was, "Oh lady -- what clothes!"< name=TCM></>

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    Category:1930 films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:1930s romantic comedy films
    Category:American films
    Category:English-language films
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