Sing You Sinners (film)

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Sing You Sinners
Poster of the movie Sing You Sinners.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wesley Ruggles
Produced by Wesley Ruggles
Screenplay by Claude Binyon
Story by Claude Binyon
Based on Title 
by Author
Music by Boris Morros
Cinematography Karl Struss
Edited by Alma Macrorie
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • September 2, 1938 (1938-09-02) (USA)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Sing You Sinners is a 1938 American musical comedy film directed by Wesley Ruggles and starring Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, Ellen Drew, and Donald O'Connor.[1] Written by Claude Binyon, the film is about three singing brothers who go to California to find their fortune. The film introduced the two Crosby hit songs "Small Fry" and "I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams". Crosby recorded the former title as a duet with Johnny Mercer for Decca Records.


The three Beebe brothers are talented singers looking to make their way in the world. Joe Beebe (Bing Crosby) is a chronic gambler and a source of great consternation for his loving mother (Elizabeth Patterson), who only wishes he would follow the example of his responsible brother David (Fred MacMurray), who postpones his marriage to Martha Randall (Ellen Drew) regularly because Joe cannot support the family. Mike Beebe (Donald O'Connor), the youngest of the three brothers, idolizes his gambler brother and wants to grow up to be just like him. While Joe is always looking for an angle, convinced his only road to success is through gambling, David prefers working in his garage and dreams of the day he can afford to marry Martha.

After losing his new job at the local gas station for trading gas for rummage articles, Joe travels to Los Angeles and soon wins money at the racetrack. Using the money to purchase a swap shop, Joe then trades the store for a racehorse named Uncle Gus. After Joe sends back home glowing reports of his success, Mother Beebe and Mike travel out to California and stay with him. Later, David and Martha also travel to Los Angeles and are shocked to see the rest of their family living on the brink of poverty because of Joe's laziness. Forced once again to postpone his wedding, David sends Martha back home.

With no money coming in, Mother Beebe forces her sons to use their musical training and go to work as a singing trio at a nightclub. Meanwhile, young Mike has been chosen to ride in a big race as Uncle Gus' jockey. One of their competitors, Harry Ringmer (John Gallaudet), bribes the thirteen-year-old into losing the race. Later, when Mike reveals the arrangement to Joe, the older brother reassures him and advises him to race to win. After Mike and Uncle Gus win the race, Ringmer and one of his thugs confront Mike and Joe and beat them up. David and Mother Beebe come to their rescue, and the fight continues until Ringmer and his thug give up.

With enough money to pay their debts, David tries to quit the singing group, but his mother insists that they all keep their steady singing jobs, and her sons agree. David sends Martha a telegram asking her to come back to "marry the four of them", and the three Beebe brothers continue their singing career.



  • "Sing, You Sinners" (W. Franke Harling, Sam Coslow) during the opening credits
  • "Shall We Gather at the River" (Traditional) by the cast
  • "Don't Let That Moon Get Away" (James V. Monaco, John Burke) by Bing Crosby
  • "I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams" (James V. Monaco, John Burke) by Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, and Donald O'Connor
  • "Laugh and Call It Love" (James V. Monaco, John Burke) by Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, and Donald O'Connor
  • "Small Fry" (Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Loesser) by Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, and Donald O'Connor[3]


  1. ^ "Sing You Sinners". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Full cast and crew for Sing You Sinners". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Soundtracks for Sing You Sinners". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 

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