powered by AFI
The working title of this film was Molly, Bless Her. According to the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in November 1944, Twentieth Century-Fox considered changing the title to Molly with a Past. Orchestral arranger Maurice DePackh's surname is misspelled "DePachk" in the onscreen credits. A condensed version of Frances Marion's novel was published in Photoplay magazine (5 March 1937).
The following information about the production comes from contemporary news items and the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and Produced Scripts Collection, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library: well-known M-G-M screenwriter Frances Marion's novel was based on an incident in the life of her friend, actress Marie Dressler (1869-1934), who briefly worked as a housekeeper and cook during a lull in her stage career. Marion's novel was originally purchased by M-G-M in 1937, and according to a modern source, M-G-M, the studio for which Dressler worked at the height of her film career, intended to star Sophie Tucker in the vehicle. In 1939, Twentieth Century-Fox purchased the rights to Marion's novel, as well as screenplays based on the work, written by Marion, Edward Chodorov and Joseph Fields. It does not appear likely that their screenplays were used for the finished Twentieth Century-Fox production, however.
Twentieth Century-Fox originally intended to produce the film in England, and assigned Roger Burford to write the screenplay, Robert T. Kane to produce and Monty Banks, who was married to star Gracie Fields, to direct. The project was forestalled due to World War II, however, and Burford's screenplay was sent to the United States. Writers Darrell Ware and Karl Tunberg were assigned to the project, but the inclusion of their work in the finished film seems unlikely. According to studio press releases, actors Leyland Hodgson, Matthew Boulton and Leslie Denison were featured in a sequence in which "Molly" and her friends are arrested in the hotel after they trick "Mrs. Graham" into leaving England. The sequence was cut from the released print, however, and those actors do not appear in the picture.