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According to a January 1935 Hollywood Reporter news item, Paramount originally controlled the rights to Phil Stong's novel and intended to use the story as a vehicle for Cary Grant and Evelyn Venable. After RKO bought the rights from Paramount, Helen Broderick was announced as the film's star. Hollywood Reporter news items add Brenda Fowler, Charles Bennett, Wade Boteler, Otto Fries, John Hyams and John Beck to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to Hollywood Reporter, Janet Beecher was brought from New York by RKO for her appearance in the film. RKO borrowed Randolph Scott from Paramount and Arthur Hohl from Columbia for this production. Kay Johnson was married to John Cromwell at the time of filming. Reviews (but not the film) refer to the setting of the story as Iowa. According to a modern interview with screenwriter Allan Scott, Marc Connelly wrote the first draft of the script. Scott also recalled receiving one fan letter for the film, from Eugene O'Neill, who wrote, "This is the stuff to feed the troops."