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This was the third film based on Edna Ferber's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The first was a 1924 film starring Colleen Moore, and the second was a Warner Bros.' 1932 version directed by William Wellman and featuring Barbara Stanwyck as "Selina" (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 and 1931-40). According to a modern source, Warner Bros.' misleading ad campaign for So Big, which suggested that the title referred to the strapping farmer played by Sterling Hayden ("He stood there So Big...she was ready to forget she'd ever been a lady"), touched off a storm of protest and the studio became the target of a mail campaign to pull the ads.
Although his appearance has not been confirmed, a March 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item adds Paul Grainger to the cast. According to a March 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, Richard Beymer was treated for an appendectomy during production. A February 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that portions of the film were shot on location at Santa Ana and Newport Beach, CA. Excerpts from the film were aired on Lux Video Theatre on November 5, 1953, during which Martha Hyer made a guest appearance. Lux Video Theatre aired an adaptation of the film on September 21, 1954, starring Ida Lupino as "Selina Peake DeJong" and Robert Stack as "Pervus DeJong" and "Dirk DeJong." According to October 1953 Hollywood Reporter news items, So Big was promoted at the Indiana State Teachers Convention and received an award of merit from the Southern California Motion Picture Council.