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Marked Woman (1937)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  10 April 1937 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,203 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 17 critic

A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties."

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Marked Woman (1937)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gabby
...
Emmy Lou
Rosalind Marquis ...
Florrie
...
Estelle
...
Betty
...
Louie
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Johnny Vanning
...
Gordon
Ben Welden ...
Charlie
Damian O'Flynn ...
Ralph Krawford
Henry O'Neill ...
Sheldon
Raymond Hatton ...
Lawyer
Carlos San Martín ...
Head Waiter
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Storyline

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 Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Femmes marquées  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Guy Usher's character is Detective Casey, but he is listed in the credits as playing Ferguson. See more »

Quotes

Emmy Lou: You know, working for Vanning isn't going to be any bed of roses.
Mary Dwight Strauber: And, you don't have to rub it in.
Emmy Lou: You're gonna work for him?
Mary Dwight Strauber: Uh-huh, but I'm not getting into his trap, and I'm not taking any chances of getting a slap in the face with a spade, either. You know, we're letting ourselves in for enough as it is. Some will wind up on the short end, but not me, baby. I know all the angles, and I think I'm smart enough to keep one step ahead of them till I get enough to pack it all in, and live on ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bette Davis: A Basically Benevolent Volcano (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Mister and Missus Doakes
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung by Lola Lane
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Women Of the Night
22 December 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

Lloyd Bacon directed this tough, fast-paced film about "hostesses" in a nightclub run by a ruthless gangster. Star Bette Davis shines in the leading role, but it's cobra-like Eduardo Ciannelli who steals the film as the crime kingpin. A sleek, urbane actor, Ciannelli was a doctor before turning to the stage. He made his film debut in the previous year's Winterset, and would go along to become a top movie villain for the next several decades. Ciannelli had about him an air of refined cruelty that made him compelling to watch. Humphrey Bogart's in this one, too, in a thankless role as a crusading D.A. He's competent, but shows none of his later charisma. Unambiguous virtue was not his strong suit.

Life in the big city during the Depression is presented with admirable realism. The sets are nothing to write home about, and technically the movie is no more than competent. That the women in the story could not be presented as prostitutes limits it somewhat, lending a certain vagueness to their activities. One has to do a lot of reading between the lines in this one. Marked Woman isn't a classic by any means, yet it's an excellent example of top-notch studio film-making.


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