- Marlon Brando was offered the role of Frankie Machine, but Frank Sinatra jumped at the opportunity and was signed before Brando could accept.
- The Motion Picture Association of America refused to issue a seal for this movie because it shows drug addiction. The next year the production code was changed to allow movies to deal with drugs, kidnapping, abortion and prostitution.
- Except for a few exteriors on the RKO backlot, the entire movie was shot on a soundstage
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