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The working titles of this film were The Conquerors, The Lion's Share, Rock Grayson's Women, The Rebel, Violence at Thunder Run, Thunderbolt and Brazen. Although onscreen credits and the copyright entry refer to the source of the film as a novel by Karl Brown, no publication information has been found. According to the Screen Achievements Bulletin, the source was an unpublished story by Brown, titled "Decision to Kill." The film opens with the following written statement: "Following the War between the States many Southern towns were occupied by Union forces and Civil Administrators were appointed to carry out the terms of peace. In some instances these administrators were just; in others cruel and despotic. This is the story of such an occupied town."
Although the film was shot in Technicolor, the viewed print was in black and white and the onscreen director of photography and Technicolor credits were omitted. The above photography credits were confirmed by reviews and publicity materials. According to a September 1950 Daily Variety news item, John Wayne was first considered to star in the picture. Hollywood Reporter news items add Louis Jean Heydt, Howard Joslin and John Halloran to the cast, but their appearance in the final film is doubtful. Hollywood Reporter adds Ed Barrier to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add Llewellyn Johnson, Harry Cody, William Berry, Major Sam Harris, Jack Hill, Richard Beedle, Richard Bartell and Brad Mora to the cast.