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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 2,165 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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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: I thought they were your friends.
Mary Dwight Strauber: So did I.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Humphrey Bogart (2003) 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 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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