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Working titles for the film were Going All Out and Lookin' Good, the latter a phrase that "Corky Curtiss" uses repeatedly in the film. Throughout the film, Corky has brief flashbacks of happy moments with his wife "Peggy Jo" and their first child. Various contemporary sources mentioned that Eugene Price and producer Bruce Geller had worked together on the screenplay. Although in a December 1971 Hollywood Reporter article, Geller (1930-1978), the writer and creator of the Mission Impossible television series, indicated that he had attempted unsuccessfully to have his name removed from the film credits of Corky, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety reviews contradict his statement, and the onscreen credits do not include his name.
The December 1971 Hollywood Reporter article also reported that in a letter to several prominent reviewers, Geller indicated that M-G-M had made numerous cuts in the film, which was his first producing effort, stating that they had re-scored and re-titled it, resulting in "a totally different and inferior picture." According to information contained in the AMPAS Library file on the film, Corky's original running time before studio cuts was 97 minutes. Filmfacts chronicled the difficult post-production of the film, revealing that actor Roddy McDowall's role as a harassed salesman had been part of the footage eliminated by the studio. In addition, a sequence showing Corky callously shooting at pedestrians was removed, and the original ending, in which Corky dies in the climactic crash, altered. Filmfacts noted that early in 1971, Geller arranged a private screening of the original cut of the film for numerous critics who indicated their support for it.
When Corky received a subdued, limited release in March 1972, the film was poorly reviewed. In response to the Hollywood Reporter review, Price wrote a letter to both Hollywood Reporter and Variety to declare that although Geller made numerous changes to the script, a Writers Guild of America arbitration committee had awarded Price sole screenplay credit. Corky marked the feature film debuts of both Christopher Connelly and Pamela Payton-Wright. Professional stock car and NASCAR racers Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Glen Wood appeared in bit parts as themselves. Corky was shot on location in and around Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA at the Peachbowl Raceway. Hollywood Reporter production charts add the following to the cast: Rosie Holotik, Hank Williams, Jr., Pat Buttram, Linda Rogers, Louis Toppel, Carie Downs, Bob Reiser and Jay Fiondella, but their appearnce in the released film has not been determined.