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A condensed version of the novel A Kiss Before Dying was published in Cosmopolitan in July 1953. According to 1953 Hollywood Reporter news items, Twentieth Century-Fox purchased the story rights and considered casting their contract player Robert Wagner in the lead. A December 1954 item indicates that Robert Parrish was under consideration by Crown Productions, Inc. to direct the film for producers Robert Goldstein and Robert L. Jacks.
Martin Miner was initially cast in the role of "Dwight Powell," but due to schedule changes, Milner was forced to leave the film. A Kiss Before Dying marked the directorial debut of Gerd Oswald. Wagner, Joanne Woodward and Jeffrey Hunter were borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox for the film. Hollywood Reporter production lists add Ann Seaton and Ray Teal to the cast, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Teal does not appear in the film. Modern sources add Robert Ivers to the cast. As noted in news items, the film was shot on location in Tucson, AZ. The novel A Kiss Before Dying was also the basis for a 1991 Universal film of the same title that starred Matt Dillon and Sean Young, directed by James Dearden.