In 1929, when Paramount wanted to make their first talking picture, The Wild Party starring Clara Bow, who did they trust to direct it? The prolific Dorothy Arzner, who in the preceding two years had completed four features. Usually seen wearing men's shirts, suits, and neckties, Arzner was open about being a lesbian. In 1930 she made no secret of the choreographer Marion Morgan moving in with her, a relationship that would last more than four decades. Although Arzner's movies were always studio fare, her Pre-Code pictures show a strong feminist streak, examining careers, independence, class, extra-marital sex, pregnancy, and prostitution. She helped launch the careers of or gave breakthrough roles to Katharine Hepburn (playing an Amelia Earhart-style pilot in Christopher Strong), Rosalind Russell (Craig's Wife) and Lucille Ball (Dance, Girl, Dance). After an illness in 1943, Arzner never again directed a feature and no one knows exactly why. She made Army training movies and taught film at UCLA, and she shot some Pepsi commercials, probably at the express request of her longtime friend and rumored lover, Joan Crawford (shown together above on the set of The Bride Wore Red.) In 1936 Arzner became the first woman to join the Directors Guild of America, which finally honored her work in 1975, four years before her death. Women in Film gives a directing award named for her. Judith Mayne's 1995 book Directed by Dorothy Arzner examines her life and work through a feminist, lesbian perspective.