Marked Woman

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3 thoughts on “Marked Woman

  1. 18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    TOP NOTCH DAVIS…., September 15, 2002
    By 
    Mark Norvell (HOUSTON) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Marked Woman [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart were a rugged team in this 1938 pot-boiler that stands above the crime melodramas of the period because the central characters are women caught in a web of evil due to their virtual enslavement to a ruthless gangster. Supposedly based on true crime files, the girls were supposed to be prostitutes but censorship demanded the term “clip-joint hostess”!!! The cast is excellent but Davis shines as Mary the central figure whose little sister winds up being killed by the gangster boss. Mary wages a battle but pays a dear price for her efforts (see the movie) and she and her co-workers (the other “girls”) end up walking away into the fog with an uncertain future forever scarred by their experiences. This film demands DVD treatment. It is unforgettable once seen and a classic reminder of what movie-going once was long ago. I strongly recommend it to Davis and Bogie buffs but also to classic 30′s crime fans. It’s beautifully made and surprisingly tough for the period ( despite the stupid censorship regulations). Check it out….

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  2. 18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A TRIUMPH FOR BETTE DAVIS…, November 12, 2001
    By 
    Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) –
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)
      
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Marked Woman [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    This 1937 gangster flick is sensational. It tells the story of Mary Dwight and her four roomates who worked as hostesses in a nightclub. When that club is taken over by a gangster named Vanning, the club is transformed into a clip joint for unsuspecting customers. The job of the hostess is to make sure that the customers are having a good time, so that they spend their money drinking and gambling.

    When Mary’s naive sister, Betty, whom Mary is putting through college, pays her an unexpected visit, Mary is thrown for a loop, as Betty believes that Mary has a legitimate job. Mary struggles to keep of the masquerade for naught, as Mary is arrested by the police on a trumped up murder charge. It seems that one of the nightclub customers, who had welched on a gambling debt to the club, turned up dead with Mary’s telephone number in his pocket. With the matter becoming front page news, the veil is pulled from her younger sister’s eyes.

    When kid sister Betty refuses to return to school, due to the notoriety surrounding the arrest, which was ultimately dropped, Mary keeps her under virtual house arrest. Bored one night, she accompanies one of Mary’s roommates to one of Vanning’s parties, unbeknownst to Mary. It is a party from which she will never return home. When Mary discovers where her now missing sister had been, she suspects the worst and enlists the help of an idealistic prosecutor to help her.

    When she ultimately finds out what happened to her sister, she vows to get Vanning and tells him so to his face. Vanning, naturally, does not take her threat lightly and has his goons place his special mark on her to teach her a lesson and keep her silent. Mary, however, does not let this stop her in her quest to obtain justice for her sister. Enlisting the help of her initially reluctant fellow hostesses and that of the zealous prosecutor, she ultimately has her day in court.Vanning will rue the day he crossed swords with Mary.

    This is a terrific film, with wonderful, award calibre performances to be had by all. Davis, as Mary Dwight, is street smart and hard boiled. She is also lovely to look at. Her roommates and fellow hostesses, played by Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell, Rosalind Marquis, and Mayo Methot, all have great chemistry with each other and Mary. All have great dialogue with which to work, fast paced, sharp, and often witty. Moreover, they each have a beautiful wardrobe of clothing.

    Jane Bryan also gives a more than credible performance as Mary’s fresh faced, younger sister. Eduardo Ciannelli with his authentic Italian accent is aptly sinister as the ganster, Vanning, and a young Humphrey Bogart is terrific as the prosecutor, giving a clipped, no nonsense delivery of his lines.

    This is, without a doubt, one of Bette Davis’ best films. It is one which is a must see for all fans of Ms. Davis, as well as for all those who simply love great, classic films.

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  3. 10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Marked Woman: Melodrama at its Best, July 3, 2002
    By 
    Martin Asiner (jersey city, nj United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Marked Woman [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    No one will ever accuse MARKED WOMAN of being a great movie, but it still can be a great movie melodrama. Hollywood of the mid 1930s was churning out one potboiler after another, and this movie has the accompanying characteristics. Yet,what places MARKED WOMAN far above its contemporary competition is the terrific acting of Bette Davis ably backed up by Humphrey Bogart and a quartet of extraordinarily convincing female seconds. Bette plays Mary, a ‘hostess’ for a clip joint run by the gangster Vanning, snarlingly played by Eduardo Ciannelli. Her job is to entertain customers to the point that they drop all their money at the crooked gambling tables. For a while, Mary is content to do this until her sister Bette, played by the ultra-sweet Jane Bryan, gets unintentionally involved in the rackets. Bette is killed, Mary is deliberately disfigured to convince her to keep silent, and Bogie enters as a racket-busting DA who needs Mary’s testimony to nail Vanning. If all this sounds like countless other films of the decade, then surely it is so, but the interaction between Bette Davis, her kid sister Jane Bryan, the snappy dialogue bouncing back and forth between the other hostesses, Mayo Methot, Isabel Jewel, and Lola Lane, combine to make the viewer forget that this is only a potboiler and instead focus on what they are really seeing, a movie that makes you care about what happens to the characters. This, then, is the magic of all good films, potboilers or otherwise.

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