9 user 5 critic

Lady Scarface (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 26 September 1941 (USA)
Lieutenant Bill Mason (Dennis O'Keefe) pursues a Chicago gang to New York City, unaware that its scar-cheeked leader, Slade (Dame Judith Anderson), is a woman.


Frank Woodruff


Arnaud d'Usseau (original screenplay) (as Arnaud D'Usseau), Richard Collins (original screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Dennis O'Keefe ... Lt. Bill Mason
Judith Anderson ... Slade
Frances E. Neal Frances E. Neal ... Ann Rogers (as Frances Neal)
Mildred Coles ... Mary Jordan Powell
Eric Blore ... Mr. Hartford
Marc Lawrence ... Lefty Landers
Damian O'Flynn ... Lt. Onslow
Andrew Tombes ... Art Seidel - hotel detective
Marion Martin ... Ruby - aka Mary Jordan
Rand Brooks ... James 'Jimmy' Powell
Arthur Shields ... Matt Willis
Lee Bonnell Lee Bonnell ... George Atkins
Harry Burns Harry Burns ... Big 'Sem' Semenoff
Horace McMahon ... Mullen (as Horace MacMahon)


A Chicago gang led by scar-cheeked Slade (Dame Judith Anderson) carries out an audacious brokerage robbery. Lieutenant Bill Mason (Dennis O'Keefe) takes the case, continuing his friendly-enemy relationship with crime reporter Ann Rogers (Frances E. Neal). One gang member is caught; eventually, others follow. But Mason hasn't a clue to Slade, principally because he's unaware she's a woman. The plot periodically pauses for comic and romantic interludes. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


More deadly than the male! See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Modern sources claim the screenplay was based on the movie, Wanted! Jane Turner (1936). See more »


At the end, a newspaper photo of Mr. and Mrs. Powell is shown. The caption erroneously identifies Slade as male. See more »


Cop: Whatta ya got there?
Ruby, aka Mary Jordan: [She takes out a gun] A check for a short beer.
See more »

User Reviews

Poor Dennis O'Keefe!!! He deserved so much better!
23 November 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a totally forgettable film thanks to poor writing and a clichéd female character. Even worse, fans of Film Noir (like myself) might mistakenly think that this is Film Noir because it stars Dennis O'Keefe--an actor who made his mark in this genre. Considering that O'Keefe plays a cop, it is natural to assume this is yet another example of this exciting style of film. Unfortunately, instead of the great camera work, snappy dialog and dark content, this is an occasionally insipid film that is very forgettable.

The film begins well--with a nasty lady and her gang committing robbery and murder. So far, it SEEMED like Noir. But, despite the title, the emphasis in the film was not on this evil wench but on police work done by O'Keefe and the other cops to catch the gang. This wasn't necessarily a bad choice, but the addition of a "spunky" (think OBNOXIOUS) female reporter to tag along with O'Keefe for most of the film was a big mistake. Her character was a giant walking cliché--you know, the 1940s "petulent woman who THINKS she can make it in a man's world". In fact, she's a lot like Lois Lane but without Superman to save her butt every time she stupidly blunders into trouble. This character single-handedly set back women's equality for a decade.

So what you are left with is a film that is at best a time-passer due to poor writing. Do NOT assume that just because the ever-capable O'Keefe is in this film that it is a winner--it definitely isn't.

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Release Date:

26 September 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La capitana Cara Cortada See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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