SIN TAKES A HOLIDAY. Pathť Exchange, 1930. Constance Bennett, Kenneth MacKenna, Basil Rathbone, Rita La Roy, Zasu Pitts. Director: Paul L. Stein.


   Besides the two ďTopperĒ movies she was in, I donít think Iíve seen any of the other movies that Constance Bennett made. For a name thatís awfully familiar, not to mention being a beautiful and talented sad-eyed actress, she made a rather large number of awfully forgettable pictures.

   Including this one, Iím sorry to say, one that TCM chose to play on her birthday earlier this week (October 22). She plays the secretary whoís secretly in love with her playboy boss (played by Kenneth MacKenna), a well-known divorce lawyer. But when he proposes to her, itís with no sense of delight that she accepts.

   Itís a marriage of convenience only. He needs a wife to get one of his many divorcee clients (Rita La Roy) off his back. Little does he know when he sends his new bride off to Europe that sheís going to turn into a glowing beauty. (She also somehow learns to play classical musical pieces on the piano; quite a change from living in a cramped apartment with two other working girls, one of whom is Zasu Pitts.)

   Basil Rathbone plays the jaded bachelor who falls in love with her, and this is the triangle (or quadrilateral, if Miss La Roy is included) that the plot revolves around, and all the more so once the lady’s husband decides that maybe he really does want a wife.


   Being a pre-Code movie, the light-hearted way that men in upper society are allowed to pal around with women who are not their wives would scarcely meet with approval a few years later.

   Unfortunately for those of us who happen to have spent the first 60 plus minutes waiting for a payoff that matches the rest of the film, the wait will have been in vain. There are many many clever ways that this movie could have ended. The way that this movie does end Ė and donít worry, I shanít tell you which one it is — it isnít one of them.