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A working title for this film was Street of Missing Women. This was the first film in which actor Herman Brix was credited as Bruce Bennett. According to the file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in August 1939 the PCA warned Columbia that the story was in violation of the Production Code in three respects: First because of its "general sordid, low-toned background and flavor; second because the hero is shown to be a thief who is allowed to go off unpunished; and third because "Annie," a murderess, is also permitted to "go off scot-free." The PCA suggested to Columbia studio head Harry Cohn that he lift the story out of the "foul background of a low class beer dive and make the locale a swanky Broadway night club, whose patrons will not be unattached girls-'B' girls." The PCA also urged Cohn to make other changes in the script, including having "Jo" played as a straight non-criminal; eliminating anything that would suggest that the girls were prostitutes; and the removal of any implication that "Jo" and "Eddie" were having sex. Regional censorship reports contained in the PCA file indicate that censors in Alberta, Canada, and Pennsylvania ordered the removal of the following subtitle, which appeared at the beginning of the film: "B-Girls...Bar Girls...Cafe Hostesses...Products of a man-made system, these girls whose stock in a trade is a tireless smile, a sympathetic ear and a shoddy evening gown, they prey on the very men who made them what they are. The Cafe Hostess knows only one law...A lady must live!"