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According to Filmfacts, after the film's initial theatrical engagements, as well as its showing at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972, it was distributed under the titles The Boy Next Door and Sex and the Teenager. Information on the MPAA website states that the picture was originally rated R in 1971 but was re-edited in order to receive a GP rating.
According to 1969 news items, the rights to S. J. Wilson's novel were purchased by Columbia Pictures in January 1969. In February 1969, Variety reported that the purchase was overseen by former New York Times critic Bosley Crowther, who left his longtime post at the newspaper to work as a story consultant and editor for Columbia. Later 1969 news items noted that the project was to be produced for Columbia as the first joint venture for Phil Feldman Productions and Rastar Productions, which was headed by Ray Stark. In October 1969, Hollywood Reporter announced that Arnold Schulman would make his directorial debut with To Find a Man, and that production would begin in December 1969. Although Schulman did write the picture's screenplay, he was replaced as director by Buzz Kulik in early March 1971, according to a Hollywood Reporter news item. It has not been determined how much of the footage directed by Schulman was used in the completed picture.
In a March 1972 Hollywood Reporter interview, producer Irving Pincus related that filming of the picture was delayed for so long because of the legalization of abortion in New York City in 1970, which occurred during pre-production. As a result, the screenplay had to be revised, as the original conflict arose because the leading female character could not obtain a legal abortion. According to the article, it was suggested by Columbia executive Gerald Ayres that the filmmakers solve the problem by lowering the age of the protagonists to mid-teens, thereby heightening the drama.
Filmfacts also reported that by the time the picture began production in February 1971, Phil Feldman and his production company were no longer involved with the project, and Lloyd Bridges had replaced James Broderick in the role of "Frank McCarthy." According to a March 1971 Daily Variety article Rita Gam had been signed to play "a wealthy ex-model involved with a young lover," but there is no confirmation from contemporary sources that she appeared in the completed picture. Additionally, actresses Heather MacRae and Judith Searle were "apparently replaced or edited out of the final print," according to Filmfacts. A January 1971 Daily Variety news item announcing Searle's casting stated that she would portray "a wealthy divorcee." Modern sources include Vicki Sue Robinson in the cast.
Although a July 1971 Daily Variety news item announced that Helen Reddy had been signed to compose and sing a title song for the picture, no post-production contemporary sources confirm her involvement with the project. As noted by contemporary sources, the picture was shot on location in New York City and Dobbs Ferry, CT, with interiors filmed at the F&B Ceco Studios in New York City. To Find a Man marked the motion picture debut of Pamela Sue Martin, and was the only film featuring Darren O'Connor.