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Marked Woman (1937)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,102 users  
Reviews: 42 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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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

David Graham: Uh, pardon me, but I don't believe a word you're sayin'!
Mary Dwight Strauber: You think I'm pretty low, don't you?
David Graham: Now, what do you expect me to think? I meet a lot of people in this job. Some of them I feel sorry for because they - they just can't help themselves. They don't know any better. They're the misfits of the world. But you, you're not that kind. You know what's right and you know what's wrong. You know better, but you just won't do anything about it. You choose to think that you can get through the world...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

My Silver Dollar Man
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung by Rosalind Marquis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hostesses and Gangsters
2 September 2011 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In New York, the powerful and ruthless mobster Johnny Vanning (Eduardo Ciannelli) acquires the Club Intimate and presses the hostesses to entertain the men with dance and drinks and then taking them to gamble to spend money. The party girl Mary "Dwight" Strauber (Bette Davis) and her roommates Dorothy 'Gabby' Marvin (Lola Lane), Emmy Lou Eagan (Isabel Jewell), Florrie Liggett (Rosalind Marquis) and Estelle Porter (Mayo Methot) entertain a group of Wardolf Astoria's guests and Mary's date loses a great amount of money in the casino and gives a bounced check to the thugs. Mary borrows some money for the cab to him but the mobsters follow him.

On the next morning, Mary's sister Betty Strauber (Jane Bryan), who is supported by Mary and does not know the real "profession" of her older sister, visits Mary and the girls. However, police detectives arrive in the apartment and arrest the women. In the precinct, they lean that Mary's costumer was found dead and her address was found in his pocket. The young and ambitious District Attorney David Graham (Humphrey Bogart) presses Mary to snitch Johnny Vanning, but his lawyer gives instructions to Mary to deceive David and Johnny escapes from justice.

When the naive Betty is invited by Emmy Lou to go to a private party promoted by Johnny Vanning, she has an incident with one costumer. Johnny hits Betty and she tumbles on the stairs and is seriously wounded. However Johnny orders his men to dump her body in the river. When Mary discovers that Johnny has murdered her sister, she seeks out David Graham and promises to put the criminal behind bars. But the task is not easy and the gangsters are violent.

"Marked Woman" is an attractive film of gangsters with and unusual theme – the hostesses in illegal nightclubs. The fantastic Betty Davis performs the lead role of a party girl ahead of time with her attitudes. The screenplay has witty and cynical dialogs with insinuations about the infamous profession of Mary and her roommates. The conclusion with the five hostesses vanishing in the mist after the trial while the spots are on the young district attorney is magnificent.

Betty Davis and Humphrey Bogart are my favorite actress and actor ever, and "Marked Woman" is an unforgettable chance to see them acting together. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Mulher Marcada" ("Marked Woman")


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