No one rats on mobster Johnny Vanning. That's a message delivered to every would-be stoolie when Vanning's henchmen slash a gangland insignia on Mary Dwight's face. The real-life saga of prostitutes whose testimony put Lucky Luciano behind bars inspired Marked Woman. Bette Davis, sinking her claws into the role that marked her return to Hollywood after her legal fight for better projects, plays courageous Mary. In a rare '30s good-guy turn, Humphrey Bogart co-stars as a crusading prosecutor. And versatile Lloyd Bacon (42nd Street, Knute Rockne - All American) directs this most unusual of Depression-era gangster films centered not on the crimelord or the D.A. but on women victimized by the mob.
Bogart is the district attorney who persuades "clip-joint hostess" Davis to testify against her racketeer boss.
Mary and her four girlfriends work at a nightclub owned by Vanning, a powerful gangster. When Vanning murders Mary's sister, the five women must summon the courage to testify in court against the intimidating mob boss.