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According to Robert Osborne, the script was submitted to the Production Code office for review in 1934 and it was rejected on the grounds that the film could teach people how to commit arson. The studio turned for help to an insurance company and the Los Angeles fire department. Both wrote letters to the Code office challenging the ruling. In a rare instance for the day, their decision was reversed. See more »
I love mysteries set in the 30s because the form was so new, invention was rampant.
And right after the code started being enforced, a good part of that invention was in how to portray sexuality (in women) indirectly.
In this case, its the heat of fire, transposed with the presence of Ann Sothern, a redhead turned blond for her entire career. Our detective is a profound womanizer, natch. In addition to his extremely high fee, he demands a pretty secretary and a running joke is that his clients send him first a sexpot, then a pretty woman who is dumber than the comic norm, then a battleax.
Anyway, the mystery grinds on with a clever arsonist and some gimmicks. The title doesn't have much to do with the story, I'm afraid. And other than the mild idea of sex and fire (and both against "insurance"), its pretty mundane. The building fires are real and pretty impressive.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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