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A Wicked Woman

A Wicked Woman(1934)

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Although reviews claim that Mady Christians, a well-known German stage and screen actress who had worked at Ufa's Berlin studios, made her American screen debut in A Wicked Woman, modern biographical sources note that Christians actually had starred in a 1916 American film, Audrey, under the name Margarete Christians (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0179). Christians moved to the United States in 1933 to escape persecution by the Nazis. Her most celebrated role was as the title character in the 1944 Broadway play I Remember Mama. Shortly before her death in 1951, Christians was blacklisted by the Hollywood community for her reputed involvement with the Communist party.
       A Wicked Woman was screenwriter and actress Zelda Sears's last film. She died on February 19, 1935. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Sears, who occasionally appeared in pictures she scripted, had been reluctant to act in this film. Early pre-production Hollywood Reporter news items announced first that William K. Howard was to direct Helen Hayes in the film, and then that Clarence Brown was to direct Hayes and Lee Tracy. None of these directors or actors worked on the production, however. A Hollywood Reporter pre-production news item announced that Erskine Caldwell was assigned to write dialogue for the film, but his contribution to the final film has not been determined. Hollywood Reporter production charts add Benny Baker and Joe Twerp to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been determined. Although Hollywood Reporter news items announced that Christians was to sing "In the Hash," a "novelty song" by Burton Lane, as well as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," the only song actually performed in the movie was Lane's "In Louisiana," which was sung by an all-black group.