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.