The Woman Condemned (1934)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

USA, 1934. . Screenplay by . Cinematography by . Produced by Willis Kent. Music by . Film Editing by .

Dorothy Davenport was a silent screen star who produced and directed a number of films under the name “Mrs. Wallace Reid”, among them this zippy and involving dramatic thriller. plays a popular radio singer who decides she needs a break from the business, presumably because of her messy love life.  is a cat burglar who recently got out of trouble with the law thanks to her pretty face capturing the eye of court reporter , who convinces the judge to go soft on her. Immediately getting back to her chosen profession, Dell breaks into Lane’s house one night and just happens to be there to see the woman get murdered. Discovered on the premises with a gun in hand by the next door neighbour, Dell is arrested and put in jail and it is up to Hemingway to investigate the case and get her freed. Hilariously enough, he doesn’t do nearly as good a job of putting things together as Dell does from behind bars. Awkward early sound technology gets in the way of this film’s pace but Davenport manages to perform a high number of twists and turns in just over sixty minutes, and her performers are all gems.

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