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Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart adapted Vaszary Janos' play for the screen in 1932, and according to a Hollywood Reporter news item, M-G-M beat Paramount in a bidding war for the rights. According to information in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, however, the screenplay was emphatically rejected by the Hays Office, which considered the story of a man who marries an angel "blasphemous and sacrilegious." Rodgers and Hart then adapted I Married an Angel as a stage musical, and after the show's successful Broadway opening in 1938, M-G-M again acquired the rights and assigned Bob Wright and Chet Forrest to rework Hart's lyrics. The musical number "Little Workaday World" was cut from the released film.
September and October 1941 news items in Hollywood Reporter announced that George Cukor would direct the film, and that Marie Wilson had been cast in a leading role. Hollywood Reporter news items include Max Lucke, Roland Varno, Frances Carson, Bess Flowers and character actress Doris Day (not the more famous actress-singer of the same name) in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Director Roy Del Ruth was replaced by W. S. Van Dyke on November 4, 1941, several weeks into production. Janis Carter was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox for the production. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, portions of the film were shot on location in Sherwood Forest, CA. The film was re-edited after trade screenings in March 1942. I Married an Angel was producer Hunt Stromberg's last film at M-G-M; he launched his career as an independent producer with the 1943 film Lady of Burlesque (see below). This also was the last film that Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy made together.