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Mary Burns, Fugitive (1935)

Approved | | Drama | 15 November 1935 (USA)
A young woman who owns a coffee shop falls for a handsome young customer, unaware that he is a gangster. The association results in her being tried and sentenced to a long prison term. ... See full summary »


William K. Howard


C. Graham Baker (original screenplay), Gene Towne (original screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvia Sidney ... Mary Burns
Melvyn Douglas ... Barton Powell
Alan Baxter ... 'Babe' Wilson
Pert Kelton ... Goldie Gordon
Wallace Ford ... Harper
Brian Donlevy ... Spike
Esther Dale ... Kate
Frank Sully ... Steve
Boothe Howard ... Red Martin
Norman Willis ... Joe
Frances Gregg Frances Gregg ... Prison Matron
Charles Waldron Charles Waldron ... District Attorney
William Ingersoll William Ingersoll ... Judge
Rita Stanwood Rita Stanwood ... Nurse Agnes (as Rita Stamwood Warner)
Grace Hayle ... Nurse Jennie (as Grace Hale)


A young woman who owns a coffee shop falls for a handsome young customer, unaware that he is a gangster. The association results in her being tried and sentenced to a long prison term. However, the authorities permit her to escape, hoping that she will lead them to her boyfriend. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


WANTED! -by the Police! -by her Husband! -by Public Enemy Number 1. WHO GETS MARY BURNS? (Print Ad- Albany Times-Union, ((Albany, NY)) 21 November 1935) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film made a modest profit of $29,089 according to studio records. See more »


Dialog indicates that Mary's fifteen year sentence would end in 1950, so she was sentenced in 1935. However, the month-date-day calendar in the court as she is sentenced says it is a Thursday when in 1935 it should have been a Monday. See more »


Spike: You're packing a lot of weight when you're carrying a torch.
See more »

User Reviews

Let's See How Long We Can Torment Sylvia Sidney Before She Cries
5 August 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Sylvia Sidney is a dope who falls for a city slicker only to find out he's a crook. She gets convicted for aiding and abetting. After her prison break, the cops use her to ferret out the boyfriend she now hates. She lands a job washing dishes in a hospital and meets snowblind explorer Melvyn Douglas.

Maybe I've seen Sylvia Sidney suffering in far too many low-class weepers, demonstrating that the Shomin-Gekim was not a Japanese genre. Here's proof that there were lower-class people in the American audiences, and they liked to think their lives were as interesting and worthy of making ridiculous stories about as snoots on Park Avenue. Even the occasional swell might take off his top hat to look at a shop girl, were she pretty as Miss Sidney. Miss Sidney is a dope, the guys on the side of the law are as heartless to the poor girl as gangsters, and it's so obvious that she's a good girl that Melvyn Douglas can tell it with his eyes bandaged.

Miss Sidney needed to make more comedies. Alas, she didn't get to do that for many years in the movies. She was too good at being sad, and shy and oppressed, and making the audience wait to hear her break down and cry out at the unfairness of it all, which she finally does here about eight minutes before the end of this one.

Director William K. Howard tells the movie in a straightforward manner, and it isn't until about 50 minutes into it that he unleashes his quick-cut Dutch Angle style to let you know something exciting is about to happen. It's an awful burden that Miss Sidney has to carry this whole movie, but she does so.

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Release Date:

15 November 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Fugitiva See more »


Box Office


$337,152 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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