The Sins of the Children (1930)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance

The Sins of the Children (1930) Poster

A German immigrant to a small American town is a barber with four children. He has saved enough money to invest in a savings-and-loan company with a friend. Unfortunately, one of his sons ... See full summary »


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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

21 May 2003 | howdymax
| Roast Goose, Red Cabbage, Tears and Beers
I decided to comment on this movie, primarily, for one reason - Louis Mann. He plays the hard working patriarch of a loving family whose children constantly disappoint him. He scrapes together enough money from his barber shop to send his older son Ludwig to college, only to have him renounce his immigrant German family and change his name once he becomes a doctor. The son marries a social climber and turns into a spineless worm. The old man mortgages the barber shop to rescue his younger son when he embezzles money from his company to play the horses. When the old man is unable to repay the loan, he asks his son, the doctor, for help. The wife promptly turns him out with a peck on the cheek. His beautiful young daughter sacrifices her virtue to the town bankers weakling son (well played by Robert Montgomery). Well, you get the picture.

But back to Louis Mann. Until I caught this flick on TCM, I never heard of him. Apparently for good reason. I was so impressed with his performance that I did some research. He has virtually no history. I just can't understand it. His performance in this movie was so genuine, poignant, natural, and sympathetic I would have sworn he had an extensive, well rounded career in the business. I don't know anything about his ethnic background, but his German accent was very authentic. I grew up in a 1st generation German home and his delivery reminded me very much of those times. The lapses into German, the emotion, the unintentional humor. He reminded me, at times, of Albert Basserman.

The story has been done many times, the ending is way too pat, and the performances of the actors was mediocre, but this movie is still worth seeing. It will probably be your only chance to see Louis Mann perform, and you need to put everything else aside and watch. I am sorry he never got the recognition I think he deserves and I'm grateful that I got the chance to see him and honor his performance.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Los Angeles Saturday 25 May 1957 on KCOP (Channel 13); since most of the vintage MGM film library was, at that time, in the hands of KTTV (Channel 11), this title was apparently one of their rejects. Aged and obscure, sponsor interest was borderline non-existent, and it was only rarely dusted off in the less predominant markets. It first aired in Norfolk VA 10 June 1958 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Windsor ON (serving Detroit) 22 November 1958 on CKLW (Channel 9), in Akron 16 September 1959 on WAKR (Channel 49), in Tucson 8 December 1959 on KVOA (Channel 4), in Phoenix 4 May 1961 on KPHO (Channel 5), and in Cleveland 19 December 1962 on KYW (Channel 3). Today it's lodged in the Turner Classic Movies film library and occasionally taken out for an airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies.


Lawrence and Muriel get married spur-of-the-moment on the same day Adolf gets a loan to help Lawrence set up a doctor's office. The date shown on the loan document turns out to be a Saturday. While it's possible Adolf's friend at the Building & Loan Association would do business with him on a Saturday, government offices would not be open to obtain a marriage certificate, much less conduct a ceremony.

Alternate Versions

MGM also issued this movie as a silent film.


Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
("Silent Night, Holy Night") (1818) (uncredited)
Music by
Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung a cappella in German by the entire Wagenkampf family at the end


Plot Summary


Drama | Romance

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