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Satan Met a Lady (1936)

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Sardonic detective Shane, thrown out of one town for bringing trouble, heads for home and his ex-partner's detective agency. The business is in a sad way, and Shane, who has had the ... See full summary »

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Title: Satan Met a Lady (1936)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Warren William ...
Alison Skipworth ...
Arthur Treacher ...
Marie Wilson ...
Wini Shaw ...
Astrid Ames (as Winifred Shaw)
Porter Hall ...
Olin Howland ...
Charles C. Wilson ...
Detective Pollock (as Charles Wilson)
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Storyline

Sardonic detective Shane, thrown out of one town for bringing trouble, heads for home and his ex-partner's detective agency. The business is in a sad way, and Shane, who has had the forethought to provide himself with a 250-dollar commission from an old lady on the train, is welcomed with open arms. When pretty Valerie Purvis walks in the next day willing to pay over the odds to put a tail on the man who did her wrong, Shane's way with the ladies looks like paying off yet again. But things start to go wrong when his partner is murdered, and Shane himself comes home to find his apartment wrecked by a gentlemanly crook who comes back to apologise -- and to tell him a fascinating fairy-story about the fabled Horn of Roland that looks like not being so mythical after all. Miss Purvis wants protection. The police want answers. And all sorts of people want the 'French horn'... but Shane is one jump ahead of everyone all the way. Well, almost. Written by Igenlode Wordsmith

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

horn | train | 1930s | macguffin | jewel | See All (30) »


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Approved
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Details

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Release Date:

22 July 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hard Luck Dame  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second of three film adaptations of Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon," this film has notable connections to both other versions. First, this film's screenwriter, Brown Holmes, was also credited as a screenwriter on The Maltese Falcon (1931), directed by Roy Del Ruth. Second, this film's cinematographer, Arthur Edeson, was also the director of photography for John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941). Third, Warren William, who plays the Sam Spade character (Ted Shane) in this film, also played Perry Mason in a series of films beginning in 1934, but was replaced in 1936 by Ricardo Cortez - who had played Sam Spade in the 1931 "Maltese Falcon". Finally, Bette Davis filled in for Raymond Burr when he had to have surgery in Perry Mason: The Case of Constant Doyle (1963). See more »

Goofs

In his discussion with Madame Barabbas, Shane tells her the item she seeks is so valuable that it is worth her paying him plenty to find it. But actor Warren William muffs the line, saying "It's worth playing me plenty." See more »

Quotes

Valerie Purvis: Do you mind very much, Mr. Shane, taking off your hat in the presence of a lady with a gun?
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Connections

Version of Target: Harry (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie
Played by the band at the nightclub
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User Reviews

 
From A Black Bird To A French Horn
26 January 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This was the film that Bette Davis finally walked out of Warner Brothers because she'd had enough. Satan Met A Lady is a comic version of the Dashiell Hammett novel, The Maltese Falcon it in fact is the second of three versions of the story that was filmed, all by Warner Brothers. It was that third one with Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor that is the beloved classic come down to us.

I wouldn't be surprised, but that Bette might have thought that this was a straight version of the story, that she'd be doing the part that Mary Astor made famous. Instead the version she got was something that might have worked with Joan Blondell doing the part, but Bette was clearly unhappy and just going through the motions.

As for Warren William, his Ted Shayne is far different from the laconic and cynical Humphrey Bogart. He's one unapologetic rogue just breezing through the film as he did with so many others on charm and a Barrymore light profile.

Instead of the loyal and efficient Effie that we all remember Lee Patrick for, we get the scatterbrained and clueless Marie Wilson doing her usual shtick. The parts that Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet made classic were done by Arthur Treacher and Allison Skipworth. I thought Arthur was going to offer some fish and chips to William at many points during the film.

The famous Hitchcockian McGuffin is not a black bird allegedly crusted over to hide a jeweled coat, but an old ram's horn, purportedly the trumpet that French legendary hero Roland sounded as he covered Emperor Charlemagne's retreat. It too was stuffed with jewels according to legend.

At the end of the film Warren William actually got a few notes out of the French horn. It blew well and some might say the film did also.


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