Sinners in the Sun (1932) starring Carole Lombard lets it's viewers know right away that this is a film to get "hot and bothered" about. Not only is it evident from the title, but also in the opening credits - gorgeous girls parading around in glamorous gowns.
Once the credits end, we see a woman whose dress and demeanor ooze class, until we find out she's just a model that walks around until her frock catches the eye of some customer, whether or not they actually have the figure to pull them off.
With director Alexander Hall.
As she is changing, we see a room full of models wearing high couture - ok, actually most of them are in their underthings, proof positive that this is indeed a Pre-code film, in case you didn't guess already.
The model is Doris (Lombard), in love with a mechanic (Chester Morris) but wanting more out of life like security, but mainly clothes. While on a day trip to Long Island, Doris and Jimmy (Morris) have an argument over his lack of ambition. They end up parting ways and each finds themselves with a wealthy companion, Doris with a married man on the verge of divorce and Jimmy with a rich girl who would rather have love than wealth.
Jimmy and his wife, Claire Kincaid
The film then takes a rather depressing turn, especially for Doris. Her friend's wife commits suicide (Cary Grant is the friend in a small role) and the man she is with reconciles with wife and leaves Grant's character to give her the news. Both Doris and Jimmy go on drinking binges until a chance meeting at a restaurant. Jimmy's wife gives him up (quite big of her but she knew he wasn't in love with her when she married him) and he and Doris are able to get back together at the end, affirming that true love is always better than being wealthy.
I watched the film on Youtube (it's extremely blurry) but the main draw of this film, other than seeing Cary Grant in an early role, is Carole Lombard's wardrobe, designed by Travis Banton. She models one chic and glamorous outfit after another, a feast to the eyes of any Depression-era woman. The Times review said it was a "display of luxury," and that its chief merit was the "slickness of it luxurious accompaniment".
Lombard's most glamorous gown: sequin cross-over halter and bias-cut silk dress with matching sequin coat.
Another pretty gown with a peplum at the waist and a short, fur-trimmed cape.
Two more looks. The white gown also had a matching hat with bow.
Smart suit and hat with lace blouse and fur.
This picture is blurry but I love the button detailing on her suit here.
Lombard's "Trilby bangs" were apparently also a selling point for the film.
There is also a fashion show, where Doris meets Eric Nelson for the first time (she sneaks off for a swim in the ocean and he joins her).
Lombard modeling one of the outfits from the film (seen on another model in the film and in the photo above).
Carole Lombard and Chester Morris made one other film together, The Gay Bride (1934). She made two more with Cary Grant, The Eagle and the Hawk (1933) and In Name Only (1939).
This post is for the Hot & Bothered Blogathon: The Films of 1932 hosted by CineMaven's Essays from the Couch and Once Upon a Screen. Be sure to read the rest of the steamy posts (which might be difficult if you wear glasses).
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