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The working title for the film was The 32nd Day. According to a March 23, 1954 Daily Variety article, the short story "Tip On a Dead Jockey" was purchased by M-G-M subsequent to being published in the New Yorker that year. Originally slated to be produced in 1955, an October 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Orson Welles was signed to direct the film; however, he was later replaced by Richard Thorpe. Tip on a Dead Jockey marked the final film for producer Edwin H. Knopf, who left M-G-M that year. Portions of the film were shot on location in Madrid, Spain.