Warner Bros. Pictures presents "MARKED WOMAN" (1937) (96 min/B&W) -- Starring Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell, Eduardo Ciannelli, Rosalind Marquis, Mayo Methot & Jane Bryan, .
Directed by Lloyd Bacon
Lloyd Bacon directed this tough, fast-paced film about "hostesses" in a nightclub run by a ruthless gangster. Star Bette Davis shines in the leading role, but it's cobra-like Eduardo Ciannelli who steals the film as the crime kingpin. A sleek, urbane actor, Ciannelli was a doctor before turning to the stage. He made his film debut in the previous year's Winterset, and would go along to become a top movie villain for the next several decades. Ciannelli had about him an air of refined cruelty that made him compelling to watch. Unlike Davis, his is a name that never became well-known.
Dedicated to realism, Bette Davis left the set when the makeup department outfitted her with dainty bandages for the hospital scene following the physical attack on her character by mobsters. She drove to her own doctor and instructed him to bandage her as he would a badly beaten woman. Returning to the set, she declared, "You shoot me this way, or not at all!" They did.
This film also shows wonderful examples of the Art Deco style in the Club Intime nightclub sequences. The design is lustrous. Hollywood Deco always signified glamor, modernity, and sexual liberation.
This film also has an up-and-coming actor by the name of Humphrey Bogart along with his soon-to-be-real-life-wife Mayo Methot. Get a load of some of the other female names in the cast: Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell and Rosalind Marquis - all "marked" women!
Special footnote -- Screenwriters Rossen and Finkel capitalized on a sensational trial reported by the "New York Times" between May 14 and June 22, 1936 according to film historian Charles Eckert. Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey was the prosecutor and Charles "Lucky Luciano" Lucania his target. Dewey went on to become New York governor and a two-time Presidential candidate while Luciano went on to organize Dannemora, the New York dock workers, and the international drug trade. The women whose testimony led to a conviction left the House of Detention and were sent to Dewey's offices in the Woolworth Building, where they received sums ranging between $150 and $175 dollars, barely a half week's wages that they earned as prostitutes. Then, according to Eckert they "disappeared, as they do in the film, into the fog."
1. Lloyd Bacon [aka: Lloyd Francis Bacon]
Date of Birth: 4 December 1889 - San Jose, California
Date of Death: 15 November 1955 - Burbank, California
2. Bette Davis [aka: Ruth Elizabeth Davis]
Date of Birth: 5 April 1908 - Lowell, Massachusetts
Date of Death: 6 October 1989 - Neuilly, France
3. Humphrey Bogart
Date of Birth: 25 December 1899 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 14 January 1957 - Los Angeles, California
Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]
Total Time: 96 min on DVD ~ Warner Bros. Pictures ~ (05/30/2006)