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Clarence Budington Kelland's novel was serialized in Saturday Evening Post from 25 February-April 15, 1939. According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, Gary Cooper, Joel McCrea and James Stewart were considered for the lead in this picture. The film was shot on location in Tucson, AZ at the Old Tucson Studios. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, Chief Fighting Bear, who served as technical advisor on the film, was head of the Black River Apaches. New York Times notes that Wesley Ruggles began to build his sets in the fall of 1939, but the war halted production until 1940. A news item in Hollywood Reporter, however, notes that Ruggles canceled production on the film in September 1939 when Columbia threatened to slash the budget. The picture received Academy Award nominations in the Art Direction (Black-and-White) and Music (Original Score) categories.