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According to pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter, M-G-M wanted Barbara Stanwyck for the female lead, but she was unavailable to appear. Franchot Tone was originally scheduled for the male romantic lead, but was forced to withdraw because of illness. The submarine sequences were shot with the cooperation of the U. S. Navy at Annapolis, MD and around the Coronado Islands off San Diego, CA. Production records contained in the George B. Seitz papers at the AFI library add that this picture was also filmed on location at San Pedro, CA from May-June 1939. Other news item in Hollywood Reporter note that the picture as budgeted at $1,000,000 and that M-G-M released it one month ahead of schedule to benefit from "war fever" following the eruption of war in Europe in early September 1939.