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Wild Weed

Wild Weed(1949)

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This film's working title was The Devil's Weed. The film was exhibited in certain areas under this title. The viewed print was from a reissue prepared by Kroger Babb, in the early 1950s, under his Hallmark Productions banner. Titled She Shoulda Said "No"!, this version included a prologue added by J. S. Jossey and Babb in which "the nation's Narcotic experts and Government departments" are acknowledged. The prologue claims that if the film "saves but one young girl or boy from becoming a 'dope fiend'-then its story has been well told." The closing titles include the following written statement: "No one seeing this film could be easily tempted to so-wreck their mind and body. But millions won't see it. To enlighten them-is your job." The closing titles are superimposed over a shot of "Ann" talking directly to the camera, but her words were not audible in the reissue version. Actor Michael Whalen's name is misspelled "Whelan" in the opening titles. Wild Weed marked the feature-film debut of long-time character actor Jack Elam (ca. 1916-2003), who, according to obituaries, began working in Hollywood as an accountant.
       Actress Lila Leeds was arrested with Robert Mitchum in a notorious 1948 marijuana party raid and some of the incidents in the film resemble events in her life. Leeds appeared on stage with the film's initial bookings and, according to a Los Angeles Times article, spoke following the film, warning, "Don't ever take the first puff!" According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection in the AMPAS Library, producer Richard Kay's Franklin Productions appealed the PCA's initial denial of a certificate for the film and lost. PCA director Joseph I. Breen wrote to Kay on July 20, 1949 that the film was denied a seal because "illegal drug traffic must not be portrayed in such a way as to stimulate curiosity concerning the use of, or traffic in, such drugs."