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The working title of this film was Katie for Congress. Actors James Arness (who appeared as James Aurness) and Keith Andes made their screen debuts in the picture. Contemporary news items provide the following information about the production: Producer David O. Selznick bought the rights to the play Juhni Tervataa written by Finnish playwright Juhani Tervap (spelled onscreen as Juhni Tervataa) in 1944 and intended it as a vehicle for contract star Ingrid Bergman. When Bergman and Selznick's professional relationship ended in late 1945, however, the title role became open. (Modern sources note that when Bergman dropped out, Selznick struck a deal with RKO that included the rights to the play, the Americanized screenplay, and the services of his contractee, Joseph Cotten, as well as producer Dore Schary, who had not yet been named RKO production chief, in exchange for partial ownership of the property. Modern sources also note that Paramount initially bought the rights to the play in 1937). Some scenes for the film were shot in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, and other Bay Area locations. Four hundred and fifty extras were called for the political rally scene at the Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. In addition, some filming was done at the M-G-M studios.
Production was delayed for a week in late July 1946 when Loretta Young was hospitalized with the flu. Although RKO wanted the picture to be completed in time for the November 1946 Congressional elections, it wasn't released until March 1947. Once the "political" deadline had passed, RKO changed the film's title to The Farmer's Daughter. Hollywood Reporter announced that a Swedish folk song, "High Mountains and Deep Valleys," was to be used in the film, but no song was heard in the viewed print. Loretta Young won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the picture. Charles Bickford, who returned to the screen after a two-year absence, was nominated as Best Supporting Actor. Joseph Cotten and Loretta Young reprised their roles in two different Lux Radio Theatre broadcasts, on January 5, 1948 and January 15, 1951. Tervap's play was first adapted to film in 1937 in a Finnish production directed by Valentin Vaala and starring Irma Seikkula and Tauno Palo. On January 14, 1962, a televised version of Tervap's play, starring Lee Remick and Peter Lawford and directed by Fielder Cook, was broadcast on NBC's Theater '62'. Bickford revived his role as "Clancy" for that program. Young revived her role for an episode of her NBC anthology program The Loretta Young Theater, which was broadcast between August 1954 and September 1961. Between 1963 and 1966, ABC broadcast The Farmer's Daughter, a television series starring Inger Stevens and William Windom that was also loosely based on Tervap's play.