Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1937. First National Pictures. Screenplay by Robert Rossen, Abem Finkel. Cinematography by George Barnes. Produced by Hal B. Wallis, Jack L. Warner. Music by Bernhard Kaun, Heinz Roemheld. Production Design by Max Parker. Costume Design by Orry-Kelly. Film Editing by Jack Killifer.
“I’ll get you! Even if I have to come back from the grave to do it!” Bette Davis screams at the man responsible for her innocent sister’s death. She plays the hostess of a gangster-owned club who is being pressured by a stalwart prosecutor (a lively Humphrey Bogart) to testify against her crooked boss and avenge her sister’s demise, not to mention the punishment she suffered on her face (which is what the title refers to) for talking to the cops. It’s nothing far and above the average soap-opera that Davis was making at Warners at the time, but it’s got a gritty story and her performance is the great stuff that her career was made of.
Venice Film Festival Award: Best Actress (Bette Davis)