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An early draft of Screen Achievements Bulletin credited Dave Marcus with original screenplay, but his name was eliminated from later drafts, and the extent of his participation in the final film has not been determined. According to the Variety review, this story was inspired by Austin MacCormick's 1934 raid on the Welfare Island prison, which revealed that gangster Joe Rao was in total command of the facility. A news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that Warner Bros. held its first press showing at Welfare Island.