"If I weren't in such a hurry, I'd break down and cry."
A clear indictment of the seductive nature of the Nightlife communicated through the torment and judgement inflicted on the women involved.
Bette Davis is an enthralling, complex champion as a lead, bearing the emotional core of her feminine commune, suffering the heaviest damage, and coming out hard-boiled through justice. With both D.A. and Gangster, she plays the Intimidation Game, never muscled on; infact, she does most of the muscling herself until her own intelligence marks her doom.
Normally, when the Courtroom Drama intervenes in the crime picture, it is a reductive, but necessary breakaway from the excitement of the narrative. However here, it serves as an examination of criminal character, showcasing the distinct effects it has on personality and emotion. The courtroom becomes a place of revelation, not refinement.