powered by AFI
The working title of this film was Mysteries of the French Secret Police. An early pre-production Film Daily news item announced that detective fiction author Rufus King was writing the screenplay for the film. King's contribution to the final film has not been determined. According to RKO inter-department memos, after investigating the legal ramifications of portraying actual people in the film, including the late French detective Bertillon, studio representatives discovered that writer H. Ashton-Wolfe, who was reported to be a former assistant investigator in the Lyons police department, was a fraud and was wanted on swindling charges in France and England at the time of this production. Ashton-Wolfe's character was subsequently dropped from the script and replaced with "St. Cyr." Studio executives also worried about possible lawsuits resulting from their portrayal of Princess Anastasia, whose existence was being contested by a woman in Europe, but deemed it unlikely that any legal action against RKO would be taken.