When Lila was released from jail in March of 1949, she had been essentially blackballed by Hollywood. None of the major and lower level studios wanted anything to do with her. She did receive an offer for a year’s worth of work as a burlesque dancer on the road. Lila refused to participate and then had a proposal to star in an independent low budget feature. This quickie would reveal the dangers of marijuana use. Lila was broke and accepted the role. She was paid $2000 and promised a percentage of the profits from road show engagements. Lila would also make personal appearances in Los Angeles and Chicago at $750 a week.
“Wild Weed” tells the story of Ann Lester, a naïve girl who is introduced to the evil drug by a pusher. She quickly falls under the spell of the buzz. Ann works as a nightclub dancer to support her brother through college. He finds out about her “habit” and commits suicide! Ann gets busted and does sixty days in jail. After recovering, she helps the police to catch the pusher and swears off marijuana for good. At the end of the film she warns the audience about the menace of cannabis. Lila received some good reviews for her performance. The film did well in some cities and was banned in others. A few years later, another distributor acquired the property and changed the name to “She Shoulda Said No.” This exploitation quickie played theatrically for over a decade and is now considered a cult classic. Lila never received any of the promised percentages. Although some of the film is dated and laughable, other parts are quite good and Lila showed that she could be a good actress if given the chance. Sadly, this would prove to be her last acting role in a motion picture.
“She Shoulda Said No” is available for viewing on youtube and Netflix. It is entertaining and worth watching.