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The working title of this film, Dick Turpin's Ride, was also the British release title. The film was copyrighted twice, first on June 1, 1951, under the working title, Dick Turpin's Ride, then on July 6, 1951 under its release title, The Lady and the Bandit. The later copyright date lists a longer running time of 93 minutes.
The real Dick Turpin (1706-1739) was born in Hempstead, Essex, England and was a butcher's apprentice before turning to a life of crime as a smuggler, housebreaker, horse thief and highwayman. Like the film, Turpin's friend and partner was Tom King. Unlike the film, however, Turpin was hanged for murder. The famous York ride credited to Turpin was probably carried out by Swift John Nevison (1639-1684) who was, like Turpin's character in the film, attempting to establish an alibi. Turpin's exploits made him a legendary figure in popular culture. Portions of the film were shot on location in England.
Another film based on Alfred Noyes's poem was the 1951 Allied Artists production The Highwayman. In 1925 John G. Blystone directed Tom Mix in the Fox Film Corp. production Dick Turpin (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30). The character also appears as part of a carnival attraction in the 1967 British film Far from the Madding Crowd.