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Marked Woman (1937)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  10 April 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,294 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."


, (uncredited)


(original screen play), (original screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emmy Lou
Rosalind Marquis ...
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Johnny Vanning
Damian O'Flynn ...
Ralph Krawford
Henry O'Neill ...
Raymond Hatton ...
Carlos San Martín ...
Head Waiter


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


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Release Date:

10 April 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Femmes marquées  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dedicated to realism, Bette Davis left the set when the makeup department outfitted her with dainty bandages for the hospital scene following the physical attack on her character by mobsters. She drove to her own doctor and instructed him to bandage her as he would a badly beaten woman. Returning to the set, she declared, "You shoot me this way, or not at all!" They did. 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 »


Johnny Vanning: [talking to the hostesses in an intimidating manner] I'm taking over this joint. From now on you're working for me. Most of you know how I operate. If you don't, read the papers and find out!
See more »


Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »


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

"Ripped From the Headlines"

This film moves swiftly in that wonderfully fast-paced,1930s no-holds- barred Warner Bros. manner. The storyline is based on the Lucky Luciano vice lord expose of the previous season, which would have been familiar to most film-goers. Warner Bros.melodramas thrived on the kind of gritty, working class stories that were "ripped from the headlines" during the Depression years. Until the Production Code clamp-down of 1934, the girls in the film would have been shown as more clearly identifiable prostitutes. Here it's all thinly veiled. Just what IS a "clip-joint hostess," one wonders. They obviously perform other business in the upstairs rooms. But the movie never goes there. The women are shown to be strong, independent, yet exploited. Though they are bordello babes, the audience sympathy is for them. The film was made the same year as "Stage Door," and it's got some similarities. These young ladies of the evening seem like they're staying in a sorority house for hookers.

For Bogart fans, this is a rather stilted, seemingly out-of-character performance for him. It's like watching Bogie's clone--the role doesn't quite seem to fit him.

This film also shows wonderful examples of the Art Deco style in the Club Intime nightclub sequences. The design is lustrous. Hollywood Deco always signified glamor, modernity, and sexual liberation.

Bette Davis insisted her make-up following the beating and slashing look horrific. If Joan Crawford had played this role, she might have sported a slight bruise. Here Davis is heavily bandaged--realistic and frightening.

This is an overblown melodrama but it shows Warner Bros. and Bette Davis doing what they did best--telling a fast-paced story with lots of scintillating, snappy dialogue. Jack Warner may not have been much different than Lucky Luciano in many ways, but his studio sure could churn out some gripping tales.

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