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The working titles of this film were They Dream of Home and The Dream of Home. Modern sources note that all of the main characters in Niven Busch's novel were either American Indian or black, and that the only racial incident of the book to be retained in the film was the final bar scene. Hollywood Reporter news items and RKO production files from the UCLA Arts Library-Special Collection add the following information about the production: In May 1945, producer Dore Schary received script approval from two Marine generals assigned to the project. The picture began as a Vanguard Films production, but was taken over by RKO in July 1945 along with Notorious and The Spiral Staircase ( entries). Shirley Temple and Don DeFore were considered for leading roles in the film, and John Lund was tested with Guy Madison for a "top role," but was not cast. Also tested for parts were Chris Drake and twenty-six other "recently discharged servicemen," but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Sam Levene was announced as a cast member, but he was not in the viewed print and his participation in the final film is doubtful. RKO borrowed Johnny Sands, who made his screen debut in the picture, Dorothy McGuire and Guy Madison from David Selznick's company. Steve Dunhill, Howard Negley and Deborah Allen, who was publicized as a recent high school graduate and beauty contest winner, were announced as cast members, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Some scenes for the production were shot at the San Diego Marine Base, in Beverly Hills and Sawtelle, CA (now a part of West Los Angeles), the Westwood Ice Gardens, and at Vermont Avenue and 4th Street and the Packard-Bell plant on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. RKO purchased the film rights to the title and title song for $15,000. Robert Mitchum reprised his role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on January 6, 1947, co-starring Laraine Day and Bill Williams.