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Harold Clurman, a noted stage director from New York's Group Theatre, made his screen directing debut with this production. It was the only film that Clurman and his frequent theatrical collaborator, Clifford Odets, made together. A June 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Clurman worked on the film's script with Odets. Although some modern sources claim that this picture was Susan Hayward's first as a non-contract star, Hollywood Reporter news items announced that RKO was borrowing her from Paramount for the production. Deadline at Dawn was the first film that Hayward made following the birth of her twin sons. Night New York street scenes were shot on the Twentieth Century-Fox lot, according to Hollywood Reporter news items. According to modern sources, the film had its premiere in Rockford, IL. Paul Lukas and Bill Williams reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on May 20, 1946.