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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 2,217 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
Edit

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

"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

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 »

Connections

References Black Fury (1935) 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

 
Thomas E. Dewey vs Lucky Luciano
3 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Marked Woman is an extremely excellent gangster film by Warner Bros, torn from the headlines of 1935 depicting the sensationalized exploits of the notorious gangster Lucky Luciano who ran a prostitution ring & was finally brought to trial by the celebrated Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey. Thanks to the production code of 1934 the prostitutes had to be toned down for the movie & became clip joint "hostesses".

Lucky Luciano's screen counterpart is Johnny Vanning (Eduardo Ciannelli)who takes over a nightclub called the "Club Intime".He tells his henchman (Ben Welden) several times while scoping the club out & looking the dames over, "make a note of it Charlie". Bette Davis is Mary Dwight one of the hostesses & she just electrifies the screen from the first moment & she immediately stands up to the tough gangster & gets his respect when she talks him out of firing hostess Estelle (Mayo Methot), Vanning thought she was getting too old & wants young dames.

Vanning closes the club temporarily to allow time to transform the club & rename it "The Club Intimate". When the club reopens for business one of the suckers ( Damien O'Flynn) runs up a bill he can't afford to pay & leaves the club with Mary Dwight. Charlie (Welden) sends a couple of the "boys" after him....pay or die! Later when the police find his body they also find a matchbook in his pocket with Marys address which leads to her arrest & is taken to the Dictrict Attorney's office for questioning. Humphrey Bogart is superb in the Thomas E. Dewey role of the Special Prosecutor David Graham.

David Graham (Bogart) is a relentlessly driven crusader of justice determined to put crime boss Johnny Vanning & his henchman in jail & smash organized crime. Graham needs & tries to convince Mary & the other girls to testify against their gangster boss. Graham has a difficult time getting the girls cooperation for they are loyal to Vanning. It's only after Mary's sister Betty turns up (Jane Bryan) & is later killed accidentally by Johnny Vanning at a party does Mary retaliate & runs back to Graham & agrees to testify against Vanning along with the other girls.

The chemistry between Bette Davis & Humphrey Bogart is fantastic & the scenes with Davis & Eduardo Ciannelli as the gangster is sizzling hot. Other reviewers haven't given much praise to Bogart's role of the Special Prosecutor & I don't know why but I thought he was very convincing & believable as the crusading D.A. Marked Woman was following the trend of gangster movies shifting the emphasis from the forces of vice & crime over to the forces of justice. To satisfy the new production code, gangsters could no longer be glorified.

Beginning in 1935 with James Cagney in G-Men, Cagney was an FBI agent, in 1936 came Bullets or Ballots with Edward G. Robinson playing a policeman posing as a gangster. In 1937 it was Marked Woman with Humphrey Bogart on the side of law & order. A clever Warner Bros trick to move these actors over to the side of law & order & also because Cagney, Robinson & Bogart wanted a break from gangster roles. All 3 actors hated being typecast & would always fight for better roles.

Because Cagney & Robinson were stars they could afford to say no & turn down roles they didn't like, Bogart didn't have enough leverage to say no yet so as a result he got stuck with the gangster roles more frequently. In Marked Woman when Bogart is first seen you can see the gangster written all over him but as the movie progresses Bogart grows into his role & really sinks his teeth into the Thomas E.Dewey character breaking the stereotype. Quite a contrast from Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest.

In 1992 I found Marked Woman on VHS & when I watched it I was so blown away by this movie after rewinding the tape I immediately watched it again. I've never done that with any other movie. I couldn't get enough of Davis & Bogart, they really set the screen on fire. Also Eduardo Ciannelli as the gangster is dynamite, frightening & memorable & it's a rare treat to see Bogart as a good guy & hero for a change. Because of that this movie gets a 10 !!


8 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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