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Modern biographical sources note that Frulein Doktor was a German-trained spy who ran a school for spies in Antwerp, Belgium during World War I. In her autobiography, Myrna Loy states that, because Doktor was alive at the time of production, the studio was concerned about possible libel suits and therefore was cautious about the screenplay. According to Loy, Doktor had become a drug addict and was living in a Swiss sanatorium when the picture was made. M-G-M borrowed George Brent from Warner Bros. for this production. Early Hollywood Reporter production charts and news items list Walter Wanger as the film's producer. Bernard Hyman, however, received the onscreen producer credit. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Richard Schayer was assigned by the studio to "polish" Herman Mankiewicz's script. The exact nature of his contribution is not known. A June 12, 1934 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Jack Conway was to direct pick-ups for the film. According to a July 1934 Hollywood Reporter news item, Reginald LeBorg worked with director Sam Wood on the production. The news item describes LeBorg as a "continental director" who was signed by M-G-M to a "managerial contract" after this film was completed. The exact nature of his contribution to the picture is not known. Although the Call Bureau Cast Service credits Judith Vosselli in the part of "Mata Hari," that character is not seen in the film but only is referred to in the dialogue.