In this roman-a-clef for the infamous Lucky Luciano Trial, Mary Dwight and four roommates work as hostesses at the Club Intime, a "clip joint" that offers gambling, liquor, and female companionship to the "big spender" clientèle. When ruthless thug and pimp Johnny Vanning takes over all the clubs in town, the girls are forced to follow Vanning's rules and kick back on their "tips" in exchange for protection. Although she is not a hardened old hand like Gabby and Estella, Mary knows enough to sidestep Vanning's amorous advances. Unfortunately the more naive Mary Lou is impressed by Vanning's oily veneer of materialism and accepts invitations to "entertain" at the gangster's private parties. Mary's naive younger sister Betty arrives from college just when Mary and her roommates are arrested as material witnesses in the murder of one of the casino's non-paying customers. Vanning's corrupt lawyer frees the others but pressures Mary to commit perjury in order to discredit crusading ... Written by
Did You Know?
Screenwriters Robert Rossen
and Abem Finkel
capitalized on a sensational trial reported by the "New York Times" between May 14 and June 22, 1936 according to film historian 'Charles Eckert' (qav). Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey
was the prosecutor and Lucky Luciano
(real name: Charles Lucania) his target. Dewey went on to become New York governor and a two-time Presidential candidate, while Luciano went on to organize Dannemora, the New York dock workers and the international drug trade. The women whose testimony led to Luciano's conviction left the House of Detention and were sent to Dewey's offices in the Woolworth Building, where they received sums ranging from $150 to $175, barely a half week's wages that they earned as prostitutes. Then, according to Eckert, they "disappeared, as they do in the film, into the fog." See more
When Emmy Lou gets out of the elevator at the thirty-fifth floor, she leaves the threatening gangsters behind, but they are there waiting for her when the elevator opens on the ground floor. See more
Mary, I'd like to help you.
Mary Dwight Strauber
Why? Because I... because I think you've got a break coming to you.
Mary Dwight Strauber
And I'd like to see that you get it.
Referenced in Play It Again, Sam
Mister and Missus Doakes
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung by Lola Lane See more