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The opening credits feature a subtitle describing the film as The Natural History of a Woman. The film then opens with a brief, silent prologue set in 1900, depicting the life of women and the development of the "white-collar girl" of 1940. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, RKO originally wanted William Wyler to direct this film. The writing credits were changed several times during the production of the picture. Although onscreen credits attribute the screenplay to Dalton Trumbo and additional dialogue to Donald Ogden Stewart, Screen Achievements Bulletin credits Stewart with "substantial contribution to screenplay construction"; Hollywood Reporter production charts credit him with screenplay, and RKO records contained in the UCLA Theater Arts Library credit him with continuity. Screen Achievements Bulletin also adds Robert Ardrey as "substantial contributor to treatment" and studio records credit him with continuity.
Modern sources note that Stewart's screenplay was considered "unshootable" by RKO and rewritten by Trumbo, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the picture. Studio records also add L. Noble as director for some scenes, but he is not credited onscreen, in Screen Achievements Bulletin or reviews, and his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Other news items in Hollywood Reporter note that RKO unsuccessfully tried to hire Dennis Morgan away from Warner Bros., to which he was under contract, because of his performance as Wyn Strafford. RKO moved up the release date of this film to qualify it for the 1940 Academy Awards. Ginger Rogers won Best Actress for her work, and Sam Wood was nominated for Best Direction. The film was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Sound Recording. In 1941, Lux Radio Theater performed a version of Kitty Foyle featuring the film's stars. Television versions were performed on NBC in 1950, ABC in 1954 and CBS in 1955. The story was featured as a daytime NBC serial in 1958.