6.2/10
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Satan Met a Lady (1936)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 22 July 1936 (USA)
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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Arthur Treacher ...
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Astrid Ames (as Winifred Shaw)
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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

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Plot Keywords:

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


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Approved
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Release Date:

22 July 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hard Luck Dame  »

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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

Ted Shayne: Telling you anything would be like contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
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Connections

Referenced in All About Bette (1994) 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

 
A Little Hammett - A Lot Of Ham
25 July 2003 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A cynical private eye becomes entangled with a gang of dangerous criminals trying to find a fabled ram's horn.

SATAN MET A LADY is an alternate movie version of Dashiell Hammett's ‘Maltese Falcon' and has received much criticism because it isn't closer to the Bogart model. This is unfortunate, as the film has much going for it and should not be placed into unfair comparison with the more famous film. Here is a lighthearted, comedic take on the story, full of snappy dialogue and a few good laughs. It is quite able to stand on its own.

Although she receives top billing, Bette Davis is rather overshadowed by the over-the-top acting of her costars. Her mystery woman character gets to act suitably dangerous, but her talent is seldom really engaged. Indeed, this would be one of the films which would soon put Davis into rebellion against Warner Bros. in her demand for better roles.

Warren William plays detective Ted Shayne (no Sam Spade here) in a wonderfully sardonic manner, always ready to puncture the balloons of pomposity around him, whether they be from client, criminal or cop; here he even turns a graveyard murder site into the location for a few deadpan utterances. With his patrician profile and glib delivery, William was always enjoyable to watch; it is a shame this very fine actor is so obscure today.

British character actress Alison Skipworth steals her few scenes as the elderly Madame Barabbas, the grandmotherly criminal mastermind with the looks of a sweet old lady and the instincts of a born killer. Arthur Treacher is marvelously droll as an English gentleman crook, apologetic & polite, seeking the ram's horn.

Pert & pretty, Marie Wilson scores in her role as William's ditzy secretary. Winifred Shaw plays the glamorous widow of William's late partner. An uncredited Maynard Holmes appears as Miss Skipworth's gunsel nephew.


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