When I wrote about Her Man (1930) a couple of years ago I noted that there was some confusion over the setting. It was never named in the film. I explained in an aside:
* According to Peter Stanfield in Body and Soul: Jazz and Blues in American Film, 1927-63, Havana was only one of the possible settings, but the most identifiable in the end because of the inclusion of Morro Castle. Stanfield wrote that Garnett and Howard Higgin’s original script set Her Man at San Francisco’s Barbary Coast and post-release publicity turned the Thalia into a Parisian dive. In between the setting became Havana and then ”an unidentified island off the coast of America” (62). You get the picture though. Her Man is basically set in Any Dive, Near to the U.S.A.
Variety's review of Her Man states "Nearly the entire picture is located in a Paris dive."
In his autobiography Light Your Torches and Pull Up Your Tights, director Tay Garnett wrote of his cast:
All were elated upon discovering that Her Man's background was Havana. They were unelated when they were told it wouldn't be necessary for them to make the location trip. Only a cameraman, Eddie Snyder, and I were to spend a few days in Cuba, picking up background footage for "process" shots (98).
But Motion Picture News carried the following blurb:
Cutting Havana Reference
Washington—Pathe is deleting all reference to Havana in "Her Man," following official Cuban protest that the film presented in the city is a false or derogatory light.
I found more detail in the following report:
I think we can forget about Paris. Havana now seems both intended and implied. Otherwise, that's a whale of a cruise Marjorie Rambeau takes back and forth when she tries sneaking into the States at the beginning of the film!
- "Cubans Resent Film, 'Her Man.'" Deadwood Daily Pioneer-Times. 22 Oct 1930, 6.
- "Cutting Havana Reference." Motion Picture News. 8 Nov 1930, 48.
- "Film Reviews: Her Man. Variety. 17 Sep 1930, 30.
- Garnett, Tay and Fredda Dudley Balling. Light Your Torches and Pull Up Your Tights. New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1973.
- Stanfield, Peter. Body and Soul: Jazz and Blues in American Film 1927-1963. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005.