Monday, November 11, 2019

It’s Bette Davis Month, at TCM! On Tuesday, November 12, at 6:15 p.m. ET, Marked Woman (1937) Gets a Rare Showing, Co-Starring Humphrey Bogart as a Tom Dewey-Type Prosecutor, and with Eduardo Cianelli as a Mob Boss Based on Lucky Luciano

By David in TN
Monday, November 11, 2019 at 12:49:00 A.M. EST

This month, Bette Davis is TCM’s Star of the Month. On Tuesday, November 12, at 6:15 p.m. ET, Marked Woman (1937) gets a rare showing. Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart co-star with Eduardo Cianelli as a mob boss based on Lucky Luciano.

Marked Woman was “ripped from the headlines,” being based on the 1936 Lucky Luciano trial. Humphrey Bogart plays against type. Usually in the 1930s, Bogey played a mobster. This time he played a crusading prosecutor based on Thomas E. Dewey. Davis’ character supposedly works as a “clip joint” hostess. In real life, they were prostitutes.

In the movie, the Cianelli character is tried for murder. In real life, Luciano was tried for running a prostitution ring.

I highly recommend Marked Woman. Bogey’s character usually was a blend of idealism and cynicism. Here, Bogey plays a Tom Dewey type combining idealism with realism.

N.S.: I grew up on Bette Davis pictures. She was a genre unto herself. In the typical “Bette Davis picture,” she was a bad girl who got her comeuppance in the end: Dangerous (1935; Oscar), Jezebel (1938; Oscar), The Letter (1940), The Little Foxes (1941).

About two years ago, I saw her again in All about Eve (1950), and last year I saw her in The Letter.

And yet, she was no one-trick pony. A few weeks ago, I saw Davis on TCM in The Old Maid, about a woman who bears a child out of wedlock, whose father died fighting in the Civil War, and whose sister raises the child, but not out of kindness. The child doesn’t know who her real mother is. (It sounds like the story was later ripped off for To Each His Own (1946).)

I’d somehow forgotten how great she was!

It seems that I’ve been intermittently seeing quite a bit of Davis again.

Two years ago, I again saw her play a sweet young thing in The Petrified Forest (1935).

I was afraid to see Petrified Forest again. I had fond memories of it, but had last seen it circa 1968, and plays tend to age poorly. But this was a Robert E. Sherwood play. It held up beautifully.

For years Davis was Warner Brothers’ biggest female star, used to get nominated for the Best Actress Oscar on practically a yearly basis, and she deserved all those nominations.

Bette Davis is on the short list for the greatest movie actress of all time, with Irene Dunne, Kate Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Meryl Streep.

1 comment:

David In TN said...

TCM is also showing The Petrified Forest (1936) on Tuesday, November 12, at 1:30 pm ET.