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Marked Woman (1937)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  10 April 1937 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,254 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 18 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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Edit

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 duke1029

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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Anatomy of a Proletarian Film: Warner's 'Marked Woman'," an article by 'Charlws Eckert', appeared in the Winter 1973-1974 issue of "Film Quarterly." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Estelle Porter: Oh, you can understand that, can't you, Mary?
Mary Dwight Strauber: I only understand that Betty was my sister, that Vanning killed her, and that you won't help me do anything about it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) 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

 
Hostesses Arrested In "Clip-Joint" Murder.
22 February 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Marked Woman is directed by Lloyd Bacon and written by Robert Rossen and Abem Finkel. It stars Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell, Mayo Methot and Eduardo Ciannelli. Music is collectively arranged by Bernhard Kaun, Heinz Roemheld and David Raksin, and cinematography by George Barnes.

In spite of the film's disclaimer put out at the pic's beginning, Marked Woman is an adaptation of the real life case of Lucky Luciano, who the previous year was found guilty of compulsory prostitution after sterling work by U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Dewey. Ciannelli plays Luciano as Johnny Vanning, Bogart plays Dewey as David Graham and Davis is "madame" Cokey Flo Brown as Mary Dwight Strauber.

Unsurprisingly for the time it was made, Marked Woman is a distinctly sanitised version of events, full of euphemisms and hinted at unlawfulness, with the beatings et al off camera. However, it still packs a punch, both in narrative thrust as the underworld shenanigans are brought to life, and as an acting curio to see the young Davis and Bogart bouncing off each other before their respective stars were about to be ignited with petroleum.

Interesting aspect of the picture is that it is in essence a gangster movie, with a good guy/bad guy scenario at the core, yet it's the women who rightly dominate the story. The girls are held up as bastions of hardship and heroism, and it gives the production a riveting edge, as well as some much needed glamour in amongst the sordid machinations.

Well acted, well told and well interesting. 7.5/10


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