They Call It Sin (1932)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Nov 5, 1932 (USA)  |   Run Time - 68 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

They Call It Sin is definitely a pre-Code film, but it's hardly as salacious or envelope-pushing as some of the other entries from this time. It has its racy moments, however, and the picture of most men as constantly "on the make" is something that would be softened in late years. Aside from these features, however, there's little to distinguish the screenplay, which is a boring, trite, rather banal little by-the-numbers affair about a girl from the sticks who finds that promised romance in the Big City isn't as easy as she thought it would be. Thornton Freeland directs with an eye on the pacing, but displays little imagination; as a result, the film has speed but no impact. What it does have is a very young Loretta Young, looking positively radiant and pulling off some outfits that would sink less worthy starlets. Her performance is good, but she's definitely hampered by the material; the same can be said of putative co-star George Brent. The men in general don't come off too well, but Una Merkel does make a fine impression with her typically tart comedic performance.