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Hecht began writing for films in the late '20s, and over the next four decades worked on scripts for such notable directors as Lewis Milestone (Hallelujah, I'm a Bum), Ernst Lubitsch (Design for Living), Howard Hawks (Barbary Coast, Monkey Business), William A. Wellman (Nothing Sacred), George Stevens (Gunga Din), William Wyler (Wuthering Heights), Alfred Hitchcock (Spellbound, Notorious), Henry Hathaway (Kiss of Death, Circus World), and Otto Preminger (Whirlpool, Where the Sidewalk Ends). In collaboration with Charles MacArthur, Hecht wrote several notable plays, including The Front Page and Twentieth Century; the two also co-wrote and co-directed the films Crime Without Passion, The Scoundrel, Once in a Blue Moon, and Soak the Rich. Lee Garmes lensed and served as associate director on the first two films; he also shot and co-directed with Hecht Angels Over Broadway and Actors and Sin. Hecht also directed the ballet drama Specter of the Rose, and produced or co-produced all the films he directed; he also produced Ten Gentlemen from West Point and China Girl.

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