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The working title of this film was One to Two. RKO borrowed Jean Arthur from Columbia and William Powell from M-G-M for this production. Modern sources state that Powell, whose M-G-M contract stipulated that he could not be loaned out without his approval, was impressed by the script of The Ex-Mrs. Bradford and wanted to co-star with Arthur, with whom he had made several early "talkies." M-G-M executive Louis B. Mayer eagerly granted RKO permission to use Powell, as he believed that the predicted success of the film would only help the star's drawing power. Contemporary reviewers noted the similarity between The Ex-Mrs. Bradford and M-G-M's The Thin Man and speculated about the chances that RKO's film would eclipse After the Thin Man, which was to be released later in the year, at the box office. Modern sources claim that the film was RKO's third most successful production of 1936. Stage actor Frank M. Thomas made his official screen debut in the production. Scenes for the film were shot at the Santa Anita Racetrack near Los Angeles, according to production files.