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According to an April 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item, the story of Second Chance was inspired by an actual, recent event in Rio de Janeiro, in which a cable car spanning the bay broke down and was suspended with fourteen passengers for ten hours. A November 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Susan Hayward would star in the picture. Both Robert Mitchum and Jack Palance were former professional boxers. Abel Fernandez, who plays "Rivera," was a real-life boxer in Mexico and made his screen debut in the film. Although a Hollywood Reporter news item lists the Los Amigos Trio in the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Most of the film was shot in Mexico, including Taxco, near Mexico City, according to Hollywood Reporter news items. Modern sources list Cuernavaca as an additional location. Second Chance marked RKO's first 3-D picture, and its first stereophonic release. According to a September 1953 Variety article, the film did well at the box-office, despite the high cost of the 3-D, stereophonic prints and the limited number of theaters equipped for 3-D projection. The film also was released in standard 2-D.