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The working title of this picture was Murder in the Big House. According to the Variety review, it was inspired by the Canon City, Colorado prison riot of 1929 in which seven guards and five convicts were killed. Prison chaplian Father Patrick O'Neill was awarded the Carnegie Medal of honor for risking his own life to save an innocent man from death. A news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that the cast consisted of 304 men and no women. Another news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that the film was previewed for 600 prisoners and officers of Berks County Prison in New York.