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The working title for this film was The Strickland Case. According to a contemporary news item, On Trial was originally set for direction by William McGann. Information contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the PCA informed Warner Bros. in December 1938 that the final script was "unacceptable from the point of view of the Production Code, for the reason that it repeatedly treats the subject of illicit sex with objectionable detail, and without compensating moral values." In addition, the PCA noted that the "objection refers to the details of those portions of the story characterizing Trask as an habitual adulterer and the detailed showing of Mrs. Strickland's relationship with Trask." Other films based on Rice's play include: the 1917 Essanay film On Trail, directed by James Young and starring Barbara Castleton and Sydney Ainsworth (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.3242); and the 1928 Warners' film On Trial, directed by Archie Mayo and starring Pauline Frederick and Bert Lytell (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3980).