21 user 7 critic

Lady Gangster (1942)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 April 1942 (USA)
Dot Burton (Faye Emerson)has acted as a decoy in a bank robbery and fails to get away. Her arrest attracts the attention of Ken Phillips (Frank Wilcox), a former childhood sweetheart who ... See full summary »


(as Florian Roberts)


(screenplay) (as Anthony Coldewey), (play) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Myrtle Reed
Kenneth Phillips
Carey Wells
Wilson (as Jackie C. Gleason)
Ruth Ford ...
Lucy Fenton
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Stoner
Dorothy Vaughan ...
Deaf Annie
John (as DeWolf Hopper)
Ma Silsby
D.A. Lewis Sinton
Peggy Diggins ...
Detective (as Charles Wilson)
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Stew (as Bill Phillips)


Dot Burton (Faye Emerson)has acted as a decoy in a bank robbery and fails to get away. Her arrest attracts the attention of Ken Phillips (Frank Wilcox), a former childhood sweetheart who believe her innocent until she confesses. But before going to jail she manages to steal the bank's $40,000 from her accomplices and leaves it with her landlady. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dama pistolera  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When she meets with Stoner and Phillips, (47 minutes in) the mic is visible at the top of the screen. See more »


Mrs. Stoner: So the quicker you realize that this is neither a country club nor a concentration camp, the better. It's up to the women themselves how they're treated. If you behave yourself, we'll meet you more than halfway, but if you want to be tough, we can be tough with you. Now, is that clear?
Dorothy Drew Burton: Yes.
Mrs. Stoner: Yes, what?
Dorothy Drew Burton: Yes, Ma'am.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown with a gun and an open purse in the lower right corner. See more »


Version of Ladies They Talk About (1933) See more »


Blues in the Night
Music by Harold Arlen
Played when Burton is told she's getting a visit from her sister
See more »

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User Reviews

A 'Brutal' Typical 1930s Prison Flick
23 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I see old-time prison/crime movies, I laugh out loud at some of the things I see, at least compared to films of the last 40 years which may be very profane and sadistically violent but at least they are realistic.

In this film, the lead female character " Dot Burton," played by Faye Emerson, is sent to a women's prison. Inside are all white women except one black, who dances all the time. Talk about a stereotype. Emerson and her best buddy in here look like lesser versions of Rita Hayworth, Look around and you more of these nice, wholesome-looking babes. I guarantee you no prison population has ever looked this good! Yes, there are a few "baddies" and, of course, they are ugly women.

The story also gives us a typical classic movie romance in which a guy falls in love with a "dame" the first time he talks to her. Then she falls for him quickly and but right away, of course, there is a misunderstanding and now the woman hates him. Ten minutes later she loves him again, then hates him, then loves him, etc. etc. No wonder few people in the film world ever took marriage seriously. On screen,it was just one big joke.

Anyway, the story is pretty interesting even if it is more than a bit too dated. The film might be noted more for having two very young actors in here than anything else, guys who went on to because famous on television in the 1950s: Paul Drake and Jackie Gleason. Drake was Perry Mason's assistant on hat hit TV show and Gleason, of course, went on to huge TV fame with "The Honeymooners" and other shows. Here, he is billed as Jackie C. C Gleason.

"Lady Gangster" is only a little over an hour which is fine and the DVD transfer was surprisingly good. This was part of a 4-movie disc called "Mobster Movies," put out by Platinum. I have two of these discs so there are eight films I can watch, movies that, as far as I can tell, were not available on VHS. The other movie I watched on one of the other discs did not have the good picture quality this one had, so they probably vary from film-to-film.

But, despite the drawbacks, these 1930s films are fun to watch because they are fast-moving, short and entertaining.

23 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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