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An Hollywood Reporter news item dated June 26, 1939 reports that Paramount first optioned Phyllis Bottome's novel as a vehicle for Patricia Morison but shelved the project when "the idea failed to jell into a screenplay." Henry Hathaway was to direct the Paramount adaptation, according to an undated Variety item.. Warner Bros. later intended to star Bette Davis in a film based on the novel, according to contemporary sources, and John Wexley was assigned to write the screenplay. Press releases included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library announced that Dolores Moran was signed for the picture and that Mona Freeman replaced Ann Blyth when the latter suffered a broken back in a toboggan accident. According to modern sources, Vera Caspary contributed to the screenplay.