Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Sing, Sinner, Sing is one of several 1930s films based on the notorious, well-publicized romance between nightclub singer Libby Holman and tobacco heir Smith Reynolds (the most recent a clef incarnation of this scandalous affair was 1956's Written on the Wind). The Holman counterpart, torch singer Lela Larson, is played by Leila Hyams, while the Reynolds character, wastrelly millionaire Ted Rendon, is essayed by Donald Dillaway. Told mostly in flashback, the story concerns the events leading up to the murder of Rendon, for which his wife Lela is standing trial. The fact that Paul Lukas, cast as gambling-ship owner Phil Cardia, is given top billing tends to give away a vital plot point. At the time of its release, Sing, Sinner, Sing was thought to be in poor taste for capitalizing on the tawdry Holman-Reynolds affair; seen today, it looks about as tasteless as Bambi.
forbidden-love, millionaire, songwriter