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Marked Woman

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Mel Blanc, Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell
  • Directors: Friz Freleng, Lloyd Bacon, Michael Curtiz, Robert Clampett
  • Writers: Abem Finkel, Ernest Gee, Robert Rossen, Seton I. Miller
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: May 30 2006
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EU1Q22
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,196 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

In the mood for a dose of unfiltered, high-octane Bette Davis? Check out Marked Woman, a bristling 1937 vehicle from her early Warners period. This one is loosely based on the Lucky Luciano saga, with maybe a few borrowings from Edna Ferber's Stage Door. Davis plays the feistiest of a group of clip-joint girls, who board together when they're not cutting a rug with clients (read: suckers) at a nightclub. Crusading district attorney Humphrey Bogart wants Davis to testify against mobster Eduardo Ciannelli, but the price would be high. Meanwhile, Bette's innocent little sister (Jane Bryan) comes to visit from college and gets more than she bargained for. The melodrama of the story is a blunt object, but you won't be able to keep your eyes off Davis, who spits and sparks like a young dragon. She's so electrically "on" that other actors sometimes look a little afraid of her. The film is true to the Warners spirit of surveying a lower tier of society, and the actresses who play the clip-joint girls have an earthy energy (Isabel Jewell is a standout). One of them is Mayo Methot, the tough-looking character actress who married Bogart shortly after the film's release. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This film stars Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in a somewhat bland entry. From 1937 , so both are possibly still exploring
their capabilities. The performances are not passionate or exiting. The chemistry between them is basically forbidden as Bette is
a clip joint girl ( implied prostitute , but can't discuss that openly in 1937 ) , and Bogie is a crusading DA , whos' career could well be ruined by such an association. The film has some historical value as the VHS from MGM/UA says right on the sleeve that even with the standard disclaimer of being fictitious , it is loosely based on the trial of mob boss Lucky Luciano , as revealed by "Life"
magazine in April of 1937. Bette is part of the mob machine until her innocent baby sister is murdered by the mob boss , after which
she is disfigured and scared for daring to object to it. Eventually the cadre of girls realize that they must testify or all end up murdered.
Of interest to fans of the stars and history students , but with no particular flair throughout.
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Format: VHS Tape
Eduardo Ciannelli gives an wonderful, controlled performance as the gangster heavy, Vanning in "Marked Woman". His studied calm nicely offsets the histrionics of the hostesses in his employment. Betty Davis, naturally, is given the most screen time reacting hysterically to her myriad sorrows and complaints. The rest of the girls just stand around mostly like mannikins in stolen designer dresses. One of them actually sings for her supper at Club Intimate. These songs prompted me to suggest a name change: Club Irritate. The music is fluff, filler--that doesn't do anything to move the story along.

Overall, the story is quite predictable in some parts. What makes the film work is the brilliant dialogue and the unobtrusive direction. The actors are allowed to speak. The result is nonstop clever banter that never gets too serious until the end. The courtroom scene gets pretty heavy--particularly when the sentence is handed down to Vanning and his henchmen. The "message" of the film is clearly expressed by the judge during sentencing. His venomous hatred towards Vanning is made entirely too explicit.
The film presents a low opinion of the entire underground milieu. A clear distinction is made between the 5 hostesses and Mary Dwights tender, mopey sister Betty. Betty is esentially void from the moment she arrives to surprise her sister. Typically, the prey is introduced as innocent and sweet before her inevitable fate is sealed. In this case, it is the terrible realization that her college education has been payed for with dirty money that drives her to act out of character (like her sister). Naturally, it is this behaviour that gets the poor stupid girl killed. The rest of the film is built around absolving the death of this pure, guileless creature.
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By Mark Norvell on Sept. 15 2002
Format: 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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Format: VHS Tape
This was Bette Davis's first film after being suspended by Warner Brothers whereafter she fled to England, There was a sensational London trial. Davis was ordered by the judge to honor her contract and she returned to Los Angeles. Warner Brothers actually paid her legal fees and gave her the prime role of a nightclub B-girl (in those days they had to call them "hostesses") in this film based on New York's Lucky Luciano and his gang. Perhaps she was glad to get back to work as well, for, although a bit too overdone to my taste, she does give a firecracker of a performance. Ms. Davis in this film, or any other for that matter, is never dull.
Her sister, played by Jane Bryan (she was still a teenager and this was her second film: she was later to marry the industrialist Justin Dart), comes to the Big Apple and unwittingly gets herself involved with the Big Boss (played by Eduardo Cianelli to the hilt) with tragic results. The hostesses at this point are all marked women and they know it. What results is a dramatic courtroom trial with Humphrey Bogart in a dynamic performance as a crusading district attorney. Mayo Methot (his soon-to-be third wife; they were both awaiting the finalization of their divorces during the filming, Bogart from Mary Philips, his wife of nine years, and Methot from Percy T. Morgan, co-owner of a popular Sunset Boulevard restaurant) plays Estelle Porter, one of the hostesses, impressively, although she found little film work after that and did not live up to her promising youthful New York stage appearances. Bogart himself thought she was a very talented actress.
The action is swift, the lines are curt and often witty, and there is pathos in the ending as one really grows to care for these lost and seemingly hopeless women. Bogart offers to try to help Davis on to a new road. Perhaps she will. Perhaps she won't. To the film's credit, we are left wondering.
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