- The movie was originally to be shot in black and white, and some scenes had already been filmed that way, when the studio decided, for reasons of prestige, that all films in CinemaScope must be in color.
- Director Nicholas Ray researched L.A. gangs by riding around with them for several nights.
- For the knife fight between Jim ('Dean, James' ) and Buzz (Corey Allen), the actors used real switchblades and protected themselves by wearing chainmail under their vests.
- Actor Frank Mazzola ("Crunch") had actually been a member of a Hollywood street gang, and taught Dean how to fight with real switchblade knife.
- 'Dean, James' broke his knuckle during the police station scene where he physically vents his rage on a precinct desk.
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