Skip to content

Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from Charming Sinners (1929)

Charming Sinners

1929 | United States | 66 min
  • Watched on Thu Jul 30, 2020 via
    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    I watched a low-res encoding of a scratchy print replete with frame and audio drop-outs on a Russian social networking site. Beggars can’t be choosers.

    Ruth Chatterton plays a kept wife whose husband is conducting a not-so-discreet affair with her best friend. William Powell plays her former flame returned to town. The sinners in question (Chatterton’s husband and best friend) prove far from charming, rendering the title a case of flagrant false advertising.

    Watching Powell, it’s fascinating to see him grow as an actor. In just his fourth talkie, he’s already recognizing the importance of reacting during his dialogue exchanges.

    But this is Chatterton’s movie. Bonus points to the script for affording her real agency and even more bonus points to Chatterton herself for out-charming Powell and overcoming the disappointing ending.

More with William Powell

See All »

More Reviews

See All »