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The film's working title was Apache Trail. Some stock footage from the 1942 M-G-M film Apache Trail, which was also based on the Ernest Haycox short story, was used in this picture. Richard Thorpe directed the earlier version, which starred Lloyd Nolan and Donna Reed. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, many of the Apache War Smoke's exteriors were shot on location in Soledad Canyon, near Monterey, CA. The film marked the motion picture debut of actress Patricia Tiernan.