- Bette Davis turned down the title role, and Barbara Stanwyck was very keen to take it, but Joan Crawford got in first and earned her an Academy Award.
- Shirley Temple was originally considered for the part of Veda Pierce.
- Shooting the early scenes, director Michael Curtiz accused Crawford of needlessly glamorizing her working mother role. She insisted she was buying her character's clothes off the rack, but didn't mention that her own dressmaker was fitting the waists and padding out the shoulders.
- Monty's Beach House, used in the key opening scene and several others, was actually owned by the film's director, Michael Curtiz. It was built in 1929 and stood at 26652 Latigo Shore Dr. in Malibu. It collapsed into the ocean after a week of heavy storms in January 1983.
- William Faulkner contributed to the script, but his additions were not used. He wrote a scene that had Butterfly McQueen consoling Joan while singing a gospel song.
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