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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I've never seen this, Phyl and can't wait to!! LOVE your descriptions and THOSE IMAGES!! MON DIEU!!ReplyDelete
Once Upon a Screen
I would highly suggesting finding a dvd. I was only able to really see the beauty of the gowns because of the images!Delete
Thanks for reading :)
Your contribution is one of THREE CAROLE LOMBARD films. Yay!!! Always love seeing her spotlighted. I always wonder how her career would have morphed in the 1940's. What might have been. Thank you Phyllis for putting this beautiful talented blonde in the mix. If anyone could get people hot and bothered...it's the great Lombard. :)ReplyDelete
She's one of my favorite actresses. I always wonder that too :) Thanks for hosting!! There should be more blogathons that focus on single years.Delete
Mmmmmm, how I love 1930s fashion! Stunning gowns for Carole here! I'm not sure I'd ever watch the movie, but just seeing the gowns makes me happy. :)ReplyDelete
Yeah, the film isn't really that unique. It's your standard "want riches over love" and then "wait, changed my mind." But even in the blurry yt version you could see the gowns were (and still are!) spectacular.Delete
I'm drooling over the fashions, and Chester Morris and Cary Grant! Gotta catch this.ReplyDelete
I know! I find it funny though how Morris is the male lead yet he's nowhere near as well known as Grant :)Delete
I've run Carole & Co. since its inception in 2007, and believe it or not, this is one of the few Lombard pics I've never seen. Hope to soon! Thanks for writing this.ReplyDelete
I still have a lot of Carole to watch, especially those early films! Thanks for reading :)Delete
I need to see this one- 1932 was a great year for Carole! Much better than 1942! No More Orchids is also great and of course then there's No Man of her Own- so many good ones. I love all of your magazine scans of Carole- she's just so wonderful and the old magazines just gives us a cool lookback at the past!ReplyDelete
Thanks! I really want to see her other 1932 films. So glad we have internet nowadays so we can see all those old magazines!!Delete
Gorgeous outfits--I'll take one of each, please! :-P Enjoyed your post of pics and info on this pre-code film. Will be on the look out for the young Cary Grant.ReplyDelete
I know, right!! Thanks for reading :)Delete
Great article Laura. You're ahead of me, because sadly I have never seen this movie, and I love Carole. Now I definitely need to check it out.ReplyDelete
I also invite you to read my article for the blogathon.
There's so many of her movies I have yet to see... I even own her Glamour collection of dvd and still haven't watched them - mainly because I feel obligated to write posts on them whenever I do. Silly, I know.Delete
This is one of the few Carole Lombard films that is still on my watch list. You've definitely made me want to check it out sooner than later! The gowns look beautiful and of course, Carole always looks stunning. Great piece!ReplyDelete
Thanks for reading! Lombard is always gorgeous :)Delete
Whoa! That wardrobe is stunning – and Carole certainly has the figure to showcase them. The movie sounds intriguing, too. I haven't seen many Chester Morris films, so I'm keen to give this one a go. Thanks!ReplyDelete
I believe the only other film I've seen him in is Red Headed Woman with Jean Harlow. Oh to have that wardrobe and figure... ;)Delete
Loved this film. I thought Carole Lombard was beautiful and acted well Chester Morris and Cary Grant were hot and I loved Adrienne Ames beautiful and a good actress.ReplyDelete