Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Marked Woman (1937)

Living in a culture that glorifies stupidity, I am always happy to watch brains win over brawn. In the case of Marked Woman (1937), Mary (Bette Davis) is a party girl at Club Intimate (I don't need to elaborate anymore do I). She's a smart dame but chose the hapless job because it makes a lot of money. Money which Mary uses to fund her young sister's college education. Club Intimate has been taken over by Vanning (Eduardo Ciannelli), a mobster with a toe dipped into pretty much every seedy and profitable business in the city. Vanning sees that Mary is smart. He tells her so as do other characters. What Mary has is the ability to see things for what they are and see where they are going and to keep herself out of trouble. Vanning is the source of trouble but his major flaw is that he's blood hungry and stupid. When he buys Club Intimate, he asks what the word "Intimate" means.  Why don't they just call it what it is? Just say it in English! Vanning's got a lot of brawn. He muscles and kills his way through everything with the help of his even dumber goons. But this time he's met his match. Because Mary's got brains and so does the District Attorney (Humphrey Bogart). This is a great film, one that really showcases Bette Davis' natural spunk and draws out a softer yet still hard-nosed performance out of Bogie. 


  1. I really like this movie... I love seeing young Bogie in a non-gangster role... ( I always kind of liked the ripped-from-the-headlines films)

  2. i'm a big fan of this awesome film! Solid, hard-boiled and with a great cast!
    i also feel its quite notable as one of the few excursions into hard drama from director Lloyd Bacon who is mostly known for films like 42nd Street, Footlight Parade and several of the Cagney/Pat O'Brien team up pictures to name a few. I do NOT understand why TCM has never had Lloyd as the director of the month, he so totally deserves it and what a slew of awesome films they'd be playing if they did!

    so whats next in your bogie fest? King of the Underworld with Kay Francis? where she tells Bogie he's "moronic" and he turns to his 'boys' and says "hey ya hear that fellas, she says i'm moronic!" like it was a compliment :D

    ok maybe not that one O_o

  3. I have never seen this film. It sounds like it is really one I should check out.

  4. Love Marked Woman! It really shows Bette at the beginning of her journey to independence and strength as an actress. Good choice!

  5. Kelley - Ripped from the Headline pictures are the best. This one is a particular favorite of mine. I love that ending shot where they do closeups of the girls while Bogie is getting all the media attention. Superb!

    Paulie - I have King of the Underworld on VHS tape but my friend is holding it hostage right now. I'm reviewing all the movies in that Bogie boxed set I got. I have to work for my product!

    Classic Becky - So many fans would agree with you. That this is the start of Bette's real career. However, I enjoy the spunkiness and vivacity she had in her earlier pictures. When she was blonde and with Warner BRos. I feel like after her big fight with her studio she became bitter and full of angst. I like the vivacious blonde Bette the best. But I'm strange that way.


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