The Virtuous Sin (1930)


Marya is married to medical student Victor Sablin, who finds it impossible to deal with military life when he is inducted into the Russian army during World War I. When her husband is sentenced to death by firing squad due to his insubordination, Marya offers herself to General Gregori Platoff in order to save him. When the two unexpectedly fall in love, Victor — not caring that his life has been spared — threatens to kill his rival. 

Directors: George Cukor, Louis J. Gasnier (as Louis Gasnier).
Writers: Martin Brown (screenplay), Louise Long (scenario), Lajos Zilahy (play).
Stars: Walter Huston, Kay Francis, Kenneth MacKenna, Jobyna Howland, Paul Cavanagh, Eric Kalkhurst, Oscar Apfel, Gordon McLeod, Youcca Troubetzkov, Victor Potel.
Cinematographer: David Abel.


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Restored copy, but unfortunately with very poor audio.

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  1. Allan
    September 27, 2023

    Cukor didn’t think much of this film but it has its moments. The pre-code aspect is unpunished adultery and divorce offered as a solution to the dilemma of the husband/lover story. The two leads are good but don’t reach any heights.

  2. Patrick Trimble
    October 12, 2023

    I saw this film and totally agreed with Allan’s comment above. While blessed with pre-code swash and buckle, wonderful production values (for 1930), and two wonderful leading players, the old-fashioned theatrical emoting and grand speechifying does get in the way of credibility. It is such a wonderful chance to see two masters of the stage doing early sound film work. If it does not quite work is hardly their fault.

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