6.1/10
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Satan Met a Lady (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 22 July 1936 (USA)
A double-crossing woman, the two-timing P.I. she hired, the corpulent "empress of crime", and a gentleman thief are all after a legendary priceless eighth-century ram's horn.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

Brown Holmes (screen play), Dashiell Hammett (based on a novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Valerie Purvis
Warren William ... Ted Shane
Alison Skipworth ... Madame Barabbas
Arthur Treacher ... Anthony Travers
Marie Wilson ... Miss Murgatroyd
Wini Shaw ... Astrid Ames (as Winifred Shaw)
Porter Hall ... Milton Ames
Olin Howland ... Detective Dunhill
Charles C. Wilson ... Detective Pollock (as Charles Wilson)
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Storyline

Sardonic detective Shane, thrown out of one town for bringing trouble, heads for home and his ex-partner's detective agency. The business is in a sad way, and Shane, who has had the forethought to provide himself with a 250-dollar commission from an old lady on the train, is welcomed with open arms. When pretty Valerie Purvis walks in the next day willing to pay over the odds to put a tail on the man who did her wrong, Shane's way with the ladies looks like paying off yet again. But things start to go wrong when his partner is murdered, and Shane himself comes home to find his apartment wrecked by a gentlemanly crook who comes back to apologise -- and to tell him a fascinating fairy-story about the fabled Horn of Roland that looks like not being so mythical after all. Miss Purvis wants protection. The police want answers. And all sorts of people want the 'French horn'... but Shane is one jump ahead of everyone all the way. Well, almost. Written by Igenlode Wordsmith

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HE MADE LOVE TO HER TO MAKE HER CONFESS MURDER! Then She Made A Confession That Made Even The Devil's Ears Burn! (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis frequently referred to this as the worst movie she ever made. See more »

Goofs

In his discussion with Madame Barabbas, Shane tells her the item she seeks is so valuable that it is worth her paying him plenty to find it. But actor Warren William muffs the line, saying "It's worth playing me plenty." See more »

Quotes

Ted Shayne: You don't think I'm naughty. You just think I'm dumb.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Révolution VHS (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I'd Rather Listen to Your Eyes
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as background music during and after Shayne ransacks Miss Purvis' room
See more »

User Reviews

 
Too far off the mark
18 October 2009 | by spelviniSee all my reviews

Satan Met a Lady is a fascinating adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's novel The Maltese Falcon into an unusual mixture of mystery and comedy and actually has several funny moments but veers so far from the source material that its effect is dissipated. In comparison to some recent comedy thrillers the film could be seen as ahead of its time. If John Huston had never made the quintessential Film Noir adaption of Hammet's novel The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart in the lead, Satan Met a Lady may have gained an entirely different stature.

The film does have some funny moments as when Valerie Purvis catches Shayne searching her room and pulls a gun on him with the line "Do you mind very much, Mr. Shayne, taking off your hat in the presence of a lady with a gun?" There is also some very funny stuff with Warren William playing against Arthur Treacher's British character Anthony Travers. When Travers says he'll give Shayne 500 dollars for information and hands him a bill, the detective walks over to a lamp inspects the bill and summarily tears it up, getting a gentlemanly response from the Brit in an "Sorry" as he hands him another bill which the private dick inspects and pockets- it's a bit of visual business that is perfectly timed by the actors.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man in the Black Hat See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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