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The working title of this film was Man on the Nile. According to Myrna Loy's autobiography, some scenes for the film were shot in Yuma, AZ. Loy also notes that, during a scene in which she takes a rose petal bath, she was wearing a flesh-toned bodysuit. Although the script of this film is notably different from Jesse L. Lasky's 1915 silent, The Arab, which was directed by Cecil B. DeMille, Edgar Selwyn authored both films and used some of the same material in both productions (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0133). In addition, M-G-M's 1924 remake of the 1915 film, which is also called The Arab, bears some resemblance to the 1933 picture. The Barbarian, however, is not a remake of these earlier pictures. Rex Ingram directed and Ramon Novarro and Alice Terry starred in the later silent film (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.0157).