A longtime stage actor, producer and playwright, Gene Lewis came to films as an actor in 1931's Honeymoon Lane. It would be twenty more years before Lewis would appear on-screen again. In the interim, he established himself as one of Hollywood's best dialogue directors, first for the 1933 Frank Capra production The Bitter Tea of General Yen, then at Warner Bros. and Universal. He segued into screenwriting with Universal's Cobra Woman, a lavish bit featuring Jon Hall and Maria Montez; he followed this with another Hall-Montez opus, Gypsy Wildcat (1945), working in collaboration with no less than James M. Cain. Gene Lewis' final screenwriting credit was RKO's Trail Street (1947).