Ann Blyth played the daughter, Babette, in the original stage play.
Jack L. Warner paid $150,000 for the rights to the play which had enjoyed a successful run on Broadway. Warner had great faith in the material, feeling that its patriotic nature would go down well with wartime audiences.
Producer Hal B. Wallis originally wanted Charles Boyer for the male lead before deciding that Boyer's French accent would prove counter-productive. Instead, he went with Paul Lukas who had originated the role on Broadway.
Pre-production on the film had to be halted whilst writer Dashiell Hammett recovered from a bad back. By the time he was able to resume work some months later, the production of Now, Voyager (1942) had concluded and Bette Davis was now available.
A staunch anti-Nazi campaigner, Bette Davis immediately signed on when she read the script.
Director Herman Shumlin was most unhappy with his initial director of photography Merritt B. Gerstad who was eventually replaced by Hal Mohr. |