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The working title of this film was Deadlier Than the Male. According to a Hollywood Reporter news items, Tallulah Bankhead was first considered for the role of "Helen Brent." Hollywood Reporter also noted that some scenes for the picture were shot in San Francisco and at El Segundo beach in Southern California. According to information contained in the MPAA/PCA files at AMPAS, PCA director Joseph I. Breen described this film as "the kind of story which ought not to be made because it is a story of gross lust and shocking brutality, and ruthlessness." To win PCA approval of the script, RKO toned down the violence of some scenes and made clear to the audience that Lawrence Tierney's character was insane.