The Sins of the Children ★★★½

German-American Adolf Wagenkampf (Louis Mann) and his wife, Martha (Clara Blandick), have five children. Adolf supports his family with his barber business. The adult troubles of his children bring their father heartache. To assist his children, Adolf mortgages his business. When he cannot repay the loan, the Loan Association forecloses.

On Christmas eve Adolf and Martha sit together before the fire. They think about Christmas eves of the past when their children were young and at home with them. Adolf answers a knock on the door, Johnnie (Elliot Nugent) has come home for Christmas. His father is very happy to see him. Adolf is surprised at Johnnie’s fine suit of clothes. Johnnie has other surprises, too. He has paid off the mortgage on the barber shop. He returns the mortgage papers to his astonished father. Johnnie has invented a barber tool and is the president of a company manufacturing it. The invention is selling well and making money. When Adolf goes to the kitchen to tell Mother about their son’s return, Johnnie opens the door and the other children and their spouses enter with presents and a Christmas tree. The parents are now surrounded by love and joy. Everybody sets the table and sits down to dinner. Before they eat, Johnnie turns down the room lights; by the light of the Christmas tree, the family sings "Stille Nacht" (Franz Gruber, 1818).

This sentimental family drama focuses on the unconditional love of the father for his children and stresses the sacrifices he makes for them. The film comes to a sweet ending on Christmas eve when the children return to repay him for his endless love.