Sinners' Holiday (1930) - Short but decent pre-code crime drama from Warner Brothers and director John G. Adolfi. Grant Withers stars as Angel, an ex-con working as a barker and handyman on the boardwalk. He starts working for Ma Delano (Lucille La Verne), a feisty old woman who dotes on her youngest son Harry (James Cagney). While Angel makes time with Ma's daughter Jennie (Evalyn Knapp), Harry gets mixed up with bootlegger Mitch (Warren Hymer) as well as opportunistic boardwalk model Myrtle (Joan Blondell). Also featuring Noel Madison, Otto Hoffman, Hank Mann, Ray Gallagher, and Purnell Pratt.
This was Cagney's film debut, and Blondell's second appearance. They had both appeared in the Broadway show, Penny Arcade, that served as the basis for this. Withers isn't bad as the wisecracking Angel, and I've always thought Knapp was one of the prettiest women of this period of films, even if she wasn't the best actress. Cagney is very good in this early role, playing a character with a decent heart but who's a bad judge of character. Blondell already has the attitude that would make her one of the best in early 1930's films. The whole thing only lasts an hour, and the ending is surprisingly cynical. 7/10