Sinners' Holiday

Sinners' Holiday is a 1930 American pre-Code all-talking crime drama film starring Grant Withers, Evalyn Knapp and featuring James Cagney (in his film debut), Lucille La Verne, and Joan Blondell. It is based on the 1930 play Penny Arcade by Marie Baumer. Both Cagney and Blondell reprised the roles they played in the original Broadway production.[1][2]

Sinners' Holiday
theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn G. Adolfi
Written byHarvey F. Thew (screen adaptation)
George Rosener (dialogue)
Based onPenny Arcade (1930 play)
by Marie Baumer
StarringGrant Withers
Evalyn Knapp
CinematographyIra H. Morgan
Edited byJames Gibbon
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • October 11, 1930 (1930-10-11)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States


Ma Delano (Lucille La Verne) runs a penny arcade on an amusement pier at Coney Island with her children Jennie, Joe, and Harry (Evalyn Knapp, Ray Gallagher and James Cagney). Underneath La Verne's establishment, Mitch McKane (Warren Hymer) is running a bootleg operation. In order to escape detection, McKane doubles as a sideshow operator.

Angel Harrigan (Grant Withers), who works as a barker, is in love with Jennie. When McKane attempts to flirt with Jennie he is thwarted by Angel.

Harry secretly becomes involved in McKanes's bootlegging operation, against the wishes of his mother. When McKane gets picked up by the police on suspicion of bootlegging, Harry takes over his operations and pockets the proceeds. McKane is unexpectedly released from prison and discovers Harry's treachery. He encounters Harry on a darkened pier but Harry shoots him before he can act.

Harry confesses everything to his mother, but she attempts to place the blame on Angel, whom she does not like, by placing the murder weapon in his briefcase. As Angel is about to be taken away by the police, Jennie, who witnessed the crime and is in love with Angel, tells the police the truth, and her brother Harry confesses to the crime much to the chagrin of his mother.



Time magazine felt that the story was credible and that it was refreshing to see a feature that was less than an hour long, with a concise story, as opposed to unnecessarily long hour-and-a-half features, which had recently been released.[3]

Preservation status

The film survives complete; a print is preserved at the Library of Congress.[4]

Home media

In 2015 Sinners' Holiday was released by Warner Archive on DVD.


  1. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1893-1993:Sinner's Holiday
  2. Penny Arcade on the Internet Broadway Database
  3. "Cinema: The New Pictures, Time (October 27, 1930).
  4. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, (<-book title) p.166 c.1978 by The American Film Institute

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.