Marked Woman (1937)

95-96 mins | Drama | 10 April 1937

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Cinematographer:

George Barnes

Editor:

Jack Killifer

Production Designer:

Max Parker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's pre-release title was The Men Behind . A news item in HR notes that Michael Curtiz substituted for Lloyd Bacon while he was on his honeymoon. The film is loosely based on the story of gangster Lucky Luciano (Charles Lucania), who was convicted in 1936 of running a prostitution racket. District Attorney Thomas A. Dewey turned the investigation into one of the most sensational trials of the decade, with almost one hundred women turning state's evidence. His success led to his successful campaign for the governorship of New York. The studio purchased the rights to a Liberty magazine series on Luciano, but censorship problems forced some changes, including a switch in the women's profession from prostitutes to "nightclub hostesses."
       This was Bette Davis's first film after her famous court case against Warner Bros. After she won an Academy Award for her performance in Dangerous , Davis felt that she was entitled to certain privileges, such as an increased salary, more vacation time, the right to do one outside picture a year and more say in which parts she played. When the studio refused to write a new contract, Davis turned down a role in God's Country and the Woman , and left for England, where she had been offered work by producer Ludovic Toeplitz. Warner Bros. sued her for breach of contract and Davis lost the case. Warner Bros. records indicate that Jane Wyman was originally cast as "Florrie." According to Warner Bros. files, Wallis felt that bit player Hymie Marks, formerly a gangster and henchman of Lucky Luciano, did not look ... More Less

The film's pre-release title was The Men Behind . A news item in HR notes that Michael Curtiz substituted for Lloyd Bacon while he was on his honeymoon. The film is loosely based on the story of gangster Lucky Luciano (Charles Lucania), who was convicted in 1936 of running a prostitution racket. District Attorney Thomas A. Dewey turned the investigation into one of the most sensational trials of the decade, with almost one hundred women turning state's evidence. His success led to his successful campaign for the governorship of New York. The studio purchased the rights to a Liberty magazine series on Luciano, but censorship problems forced some changes, including a switch in the women's profession from prostitutes to "nightclub hostesses."
       This was Bette Davis's first film after her famous court case against Warner Bros. After she won an Academy Award for her performance in Dangerous , Davis felt that she was entitled to certain privileges, such as an increased salary, more vacation time, the right to do one outside picture a year and more say in which parts she played. When the studio refused to write a new contract, Davis turned down a role in God's Country and the Woman , and left for England, where she had been offered work by producer Ludovic Toeplitz. Warner Bros. sued her for breach of contract and Davis lost the case. Warner Bros. records indicate that Jane Wyman was originally cast as "Florrie." According to Warner Bros. files, Wallis felt that bit player Hymie Marks, formerly a gangster and henchman of Lucky Luciano, did not look menacing enough for the role he played in the film. Although the Call Bureau Cast Service lists Wendell Niles in the role of the news commentator, Warner Bros. studio records credit Ken Niles with the role. It was on this picture that Humphrey Bogart met Mayo Methot, whom he later married. Modern sources credit James Gibbons and Robert Burks with special effects. The film was re-issued with Dust Be My Destiny (see above) in 1947. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
26 Feb 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
25 Feb 37
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
20 Feb 37
p. 53.
Motion Picture Herald
6 Mar 37
p. 39.
MPSI
1 Apr 37
p. 22.
New York Times
12 Apr 37
p. 15.
Variety
14 Apr 37
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Carlos San Martin
Allen Matthews
George E. Stone
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Fill-In dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Exec in charge of prod
WRITERS
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
Wardrobe man
Wardrobe woman
SOUND
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Scr clerk
Gaffer
Best boy
Still photog
SOURCES
SONGS
"My Silver Dollar Man," words and music by Harry Warren and Al Dubin
"Mr. and Mrs. Doakes," words and music by M. K. Jerome and Jack Scholl.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Men Behind
Release Date:
10 April 1937
Production Date:
began 9 December 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 February 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7040
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95-96
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2936
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Racketeer Johnny Vanning takes over the Club Intime where Mary Dwight and her roommates, Gabby Marvin, Emmy Lou Egan, Florrie Liggett and Estelle Porter are working as hostesses. Mary accuses Vanning of creating a clip joint, but the women are intimidated by his tactics and go along with his new policies. When Vanning's henchman, Charlie Delaney, kills Ralph Krawfurd for not paying his gambling debts, Mary is implicated and arrested. Prosecutor David Graham, believing he has convinced Mary to testify against the gangsters, puts her on the stand only to have her double-cross him, and Vanning is acquitted. During the trial, Mary's younger sister Betty, who is unexpectedly visiting from college, realizes the truth about Mary's secret life. Disillusioned and bitter, Betty remains in New York and accompanies Emmy Lou to one of Vanning's parties. There Betty is approached by Bob Crandall, and when she resists his advances, Vanning strikes her and she falls down a staircase to her death. Mary threatens to expose Vanning, but when his henchmen brutally beat her and use a knife on her face, she and the other women agree to testify for the state. Emmy Lou, who is being held by Vanning because she witnessed Betty's death, escapes her guards and joins her friends in court. With Mary's testimony, Graham finally wins his case against the racketeer. Although he is attracted to Mary's courage and offers to help her, she knows any further involvement with him is hopeless. As the women walk off into the foggy night, Graham remains behind to address the ... +


Racketeer Johnny Vanning takes over the Club Intime where Mary Dwight and her roommates, Gabby Marvin, Emmy Lou Egan, Florrie Liggett and Estelle Porter are working as hostesses. Mary accuses Vanning of creating a clip joint, but the women are intimidated by his tactics and go along with his new policies. When Vanning's henchman, Charlie Delaney, kills Ralph Krawfurd for not paying his gambling debts, Mary is implicated and arrested. Prosecutor David Graham, believing he has convinced Mary to testify against the gangsters, puts her on the stand only to have her double-cross him, and Vanning is acquitted. During the trial, Mary's younger sister Betty, who is unexpectedly visiting from college, realizes the truth about Mary's secret life. Disillusioned and bitter, Betty remains in New York and accompanies Emmy Lou to one of Vanning's parties. There Betty is approached by Bob Crandall, and when she resists his advances, Vanning strikes her and she falls down a staircase to her death. Mary threatens to expose Vanning, but when his henchmen brutally beat her and use a knife on her face, she and the other women agree to testify for the state. Emmy Lou, who is being held by Vanning because she witnessed Betty's death, escapes her guards and joins her friends in court. With Mary's testimony, Graham finally wins his case against the racketeer. Although he is attracted to Mary's courage and offers to help her, she knows any further involvement with him is hopeless. As the women walk off into the foggy night, Graham remains behind to address the press. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.