THEY CALL IT SIN. First National Pictures, 1932. Loretta Young, George Brent, Una Merkel, David Manners, Helen Vinson, Louis Calhern. Director: Thornton Freeland.

   The biggest attraction this small unprepossessing pre-Code film has is luminously beautiful Loretta Young, only 19 years old at the time and an actress you just knew was going somewhere, even in 1932.

   It’s kind of a silly film, but with themes I’m sure resonated with audiences at the time, in the depths of the Depression. When a traveling salesman of sorts (David Manners) hits a small town in Kansas, he’s already engaged to a girl back in Manhattan, and he has no idea he’ll find himself so completely smitten by the girl he finds playing the organ in church on Sunday morning.

   Her parents have small town values, but Marion Cullen doesn’t share them. There is a reason for that, which I won’t go into, and she sees in Jimmy a way to leave her particular small town behind, and she does, following him to New York, thinking that he loves her.

   Which he does, deeply, but as I mentioned up above, he already have a fiancĂ©e, and reluctantly he does the honorable thing. But what this does is leave Marian on her own in the big city, a theme of forbidden fruit, I imagine, to small-town audiences.

   She does all right, though, and I doubt that you will be surprised to have me tell you that. First she hooks up with another would-be Broadway starlet named Dixie Dare (Una Merkel), but then has to fend off the advances of a lecherous but well-known producer.

   Nor is he the only one. A doctor friend of Jimmy (George Brent) has his eyes on her, too. Beauty, it seems, is not to be denied.

   It is around this point of its running time that the film takes on a somewhat darker tone, but even though this film has been released on DVD as part of a box set of pre-Code movies, there are only hints of really dastardly stuff. We do get to see the charming Dixie Dark romping around in her room in her lingerie, though, which is a fact that seems well worth mentioning. Mostly, though, this is entertaining fun, a film that today would be hard-pressed to even make it into the PG category.