MGM's The Reformer and the Redhead was the first directorial collaboration of longtime screenwriting partners Norman Panama and Melvin Frank. The reformer is Andrew Rockton Hale (Dick Powell), a mayoral candidate. Hale butts heads with a corrupt political machine, which has recently ordered the firings of several innocent city employees, including zookeeper Kevin Maguire (Cecil Kellaway). The redhead in the case is Maguire's daughter Kathleen (June Allyson), who joins Hale's election team, only to turn on him after a series of misunderstandings. The farcical proceedings culminate in a bit of Bringing Up Baby-style slapstick involving a ferocious lion. By the time Reformer and the Redhead was filmed, Dick Powell and June Allyson had been married for five years.