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The working title of this film was Three Love Stories. The order of the cast credits listed above differs from the onscreen credits. In the opening credits, the cast was listed in the following order: Pier Angeli, Ethel Barrymore, Leslie Caron, Kirk Douglas, Farley Granger, James Mason, Moira Shearer, Agnes Moorehead, Ricky Nelson, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Richard Anderson. According to 1951 news items in Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter, Vincente Minnelli was to direct an I. A. R. Wylie story titled "Why Should I Cry?" as one of the sequences, but the story was replaced with "Equilibrium." "Why Should I Cry?" was later adapted for the feature film Torch Song .
According to pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter, Ricardo Montalban was originally cast as "Pierre Narval" in "Equilibrium," and spent several months training for the role with trapeze artist Harold Voyse. In his autobiography, Kirk Douglas wrote that he sought Montalban's permission before accepting the role. Douglas also wrote that he became engaged for a brief period to his young co-star, Pier Angeli, while working on the film, but they never married.
A March 5, 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Gottfried Reinhardt, who directed both "The Jealous Lover" and "Equilibrium" segments, would play the role of a concierge, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter news items also add Fritz Warnecke, Thomas Herman, Lou Nova and Arnold Newton to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. The Story of Three Loves was Moira Shearer's only American film, and Ricky Nelson's first screen appearance without his parents, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. The film received an Academy Award nomination in the Art Direction (Color) category.