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The working title of this film was A White Rose for Julie. Although some news items claim that the source of the film was a novel by Leo Rosten, all other contemporary sources, including SAB, list the source as an original screen story by Rosten. In late May 1949, Hollywood Reporter announced that Arthur Ross had been signed to adapt the story, but Ross's contribution to the completed film has not been determined. Where Danger Lives was the first undertaking of Westwood Productions, Inc. a company formed by producers Irving Cummings, Jr. and Irwin Allen to be one of RKO's "independent units." A 14 April Hollywood Reporter news item announced that RKO had bought Rosten's story as a vehicle for Robert Mitchum. According to a April 15, 1949 Los Angeles Times news item, however, the story was purchased as a vehicle for Robert Ryan. The same item listed Maureen O'Hara and Laraine Day as Ryan's possible co-stars.
Although she had appeared in a supporting role in Young Widow, a 1946 United Artists release , Faith Domergue made her official, much-publicized starring debut in Where Danger Lives. (Vendetta, another Domergue picture, was made prior to Where Danger Lives, but was not released until late 1950.) The Howard Hughes protegee was described in the Hollywood Reporter review as a "beauty with a good figure, a fascinating voice and decided flare for sultry roles." The Los Angeles Times review stated that Domergue "obviously possesses more natural ability than other Howard Hughes discoveries." Maureen O'Sullivan, who played "Julie" in the film, was married to director John Farrow. Where Danger Lives was one of only two films in which the actress appeared during the late 1940s, both of which were directed by Farrow. RKO borrowed Farrow from Paramount for the production. Actor Charles Kemper, who played the police chief in the picture, died on May 12, 1950, two months before the film's general release. Although Roland Gross is credited in a late Hollywood Reporter production chart as the film's co-editor, this listing is probably an error. Some scenes were shot in Palmdale, CA, according to Hollywood Reporter.