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Sin Takes A Holiday (November 10, 1930)

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Constance Bennett in Sin Takes a Holiday

Released on November 10, 1930: Dowdy secretary Constance Bennett enters an arranged marriage in name only, and has a Paris makeover that turns her into an irresistable lady.

Directed by Paul L. Stein

The Actors: Constance Bennett (Sylvia Brenner), Kenneth MacKenna (Gaylord Stanton), Basil Rathbone (Reggie Durant), Rita La Roy (Grace Lawrence), Louis John Bartels (Mr. Richards), John Roche (Sheridan), Zasu Pitts (Annie), Kendall Lee (Miss Munson), Muriel Finley (Ruth), Judith Wood (Mrs. Graham), Fred Walton (Martin, Stanton's butler), Richard Carle (minister), Gino Corrado (dressmaker), George Davis (butler at the villa), Alphonse Martell (man at roulette table), William H. O'Brien (waiter at the Royal Club), Leo White (photographer), Florence Wix (ship's passenger)


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The Make-Over Queen

Dress for Success was a popular self-help book when I was young, and its themes continue even today. . . . Dress like a million dollars if you want to earn a million dollars . . . . But sometimes dressing for success has a very different meaning. My high school social studies teacher moonlighted weekends as a bartender at the famous Seven Springs ski resort, a few miles from Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I still remember a story he told us one day in class about dressing for success at the resort. He was bartending one weekend evening and told us about a conversation that he had with a visiting businessman. The businessman had just finished a conference that he had organized for several of his customers at the resort. As part of his presentation he had purchased several large television sets for the meeting room where he held his conference. At the end of the conference he sold the television sets to anyone that would buy them instead of trying to take them home with him. He was sitting in the bar telling my teacher about this, and the businessman proclaimed how amazed he was that a janitor had purchased six of the television sets with cash from his pocket! He commented that janitors must be very well paid at the resort. He went on to say that the janitor was mopping the wet floor in the lobby when he stopped and agreed to buy six of the television sets, handing the man cash from a large roll of bills in his pocket. What the bartender didn't tell the businessman was that the 'janitor' mopping the floor in old jeans was actually one of the owners of the resort. The owners were more interested in a well-run resort than in dressing like the millionaires that they were . . . At least that's how it was in the late 1960's. Dressing for success had a very different meaning than most of us think about.

In this pre-code romantic adventure Constance Bennett proves that as far as some men are concerned, the outside appearance of the lady makes all the difference. She is the secretary of a wealthy divorce lawyer and only earns enough money to be modestly dressed with inexpensive clothes, and is secretly and madly in love with her boss. He swings with married women only . . . so that he can never be trapped in marriage to a gold-digging woman like the ones that he gets divorces for. When his current girlfriend announces that she is getting a divorce so that she can marry him, he goes into a major panic. She is fun to play with, but he surely wouldn't want to marry her, or anyone else for that matter. What to do, what to do. He decides to ask his secretary to marry him as a business arrangement, so that he will have a reason not to ever marry the girls that he goes out with. With considerable reluctance Constance Bennett, the dowdy secretary, does marry him and then goes to Paris where she gets a total makeover and turns from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. Now, returning to the States to visit her 'husband,' he now sees the beautiful lady in front of him and all of a sudden he wants to make her his real wife. Ahh, but Constance knows a bit about handling men, and she will let him twist in the wind for a good while. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter and enjoy a classic love story with Basil Rathbone as you've never seen him before, Zasu Pitts as Miss Bennett's roommate and friend, and the always beautiful and witty Constance Bennett.

Basil Rathbone and Constance Bennett
Basil Rathbone and Constance Bennett meet aboard ship.
Basil Rathbone and Fred Walton
Basil Rathbone and Fred Walton
Basil Rathbone
Suave leading man Basil Rathbone

Constance Bennett and Basil Rathbone dance aboard ship on the way to Paris.
Constance Bennett
Constance Bennett, dowdy secretary, is proposed to by Kenneth MacKenna

Constance Bennett
Constance Bennett

Constance Bennett
Constance Bennett as secretary for Kenneth MacKenna
Fred Walton and Constance Bennett
Fred Walton and Constance Bennett
Judith Woods, Kendall Lee and Rita La Roy
Judith Woods, Kendall Lee and Rita La Roy
Kenneth MacKenna and Basil Rathbone
Kenneth MacKenna and Basil Rathbone discuss who should have Constance Bennett
Kenneth MacKenna and Rita La Roy
Kenneth MacKenna and Rita La Roy
Kenneth MacKenna gets ready to party
Kenneth MacKenna gets ready to party
Kenneth MacKenna and Constance Bennett
Kenneth MacKenna meets the now-glamourous Constance Bennett
Louis John Bartels
Louis John Bartels
Richard Carle
Richard Carle is the minister about to marry Constance Bennett and Kenneth MacKenna
Rita La Roy and Constance Bennett
Constance Bennett tells Rita La Roy to get away from her man.
Rita La Roy
If Looks Could Kill, Constance Bennett would be dead after this withering gaze from Rita La Roy!
the gang
The party gang watches Constance Bennett kiss her man, Kenneth MacKenna
Constance Bennett and Kenneth MacKenna kiss
Constance Bennett and Kenneth MacKenna kiss at their arranged wedding.
Zasu Pitts and Constance Bennett
Zasu Pitts and Constance Bennett - Zasu thinks that Constance has been seduced, but Constance says that it is even worse - she has discovered that no one wants to seduce her.
Zasu Pitts
Zasu Pitts in 1930