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The working title of this film was Weep No More. According to a March 1947 Variety news item, Alfred Hitchcock was first considered to direct the film, and Cary Grant to star. Made in early 1948, Walk Softly, Stranger was the last RKO picture to boast a Dore Schary credit. (Schary left the studio in the spring of 1948 after a disagreement with RKO owner Howard Hughes.) According to modern sources, Hughes shelved the film soon after its completion, but decided in February 1949 to release it, hoping to capitalize on the success of Carol Reed's film The Third Man , which also starred Joseph Cotten and Valli. The New York Times review commented that Walk Softly, Stranger was "apparently withheld from release in the expectation of enhancement of its 'star value' from the Carol Reed film." In March 1949, Variety announced that Hughes and Selznick had decided to shoot a new ending for the picture, which was to be written by Oliver H. P. Garrett. The extent of Garrett's contribution to the final film is not known. In addition to Cotten and Valli, RKO borrowed director Robert Stevenson from David O. Selznick's company. This was the last film on which Selznick and RKO collaborated. According to a February 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item, Selznick was promised a percentage of the profits from this film and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House in exchange for Schary's release from his Selznick contract. According to modern sources, the film lost $775,000 and was RKO's biggest flop of the year.