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The working title of this film was Adobe Walls. The opening title card contains the following excerpted letter: "To: The General of the Armies regarding the subject of: Recommendation of the Congressional Award....and in my opinion this man-in constant disregard of his personal feelings and (as Chief of Scouts) repeatedly risking his life that others might be saved-deserves to have his name rank with Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Wm. F. Cody and others whose unselfish service to this country can never be forgotten. Respectfully, George Crook, Brig. General, U.S. Army, May 7, 1886." The subject of the letter, Al Sieber, Chief of Scouts of the United States Army of the Southwest, is acknowledged in the closing credits as having provided, in part, the basis for the character of "Ed Bannon." Born in 1844, Sieber, a Civil War veteran, became chief of scouts for the U.S. Army at San Carlos Indian Reservation in 1870. Sieber participated in the hunt for Geronimo, aided by Apache trackers. He reportedly survived twenty-nine gun and arrow wounds and died in 1907.
Closing credits also acknowledge that Arrowhead was filmed entirely on location at Fort Clark, in Bracketville, TX. An August 1951 Par News article indicates that Paramount producer Pat Dugan was originally to produce the film, and that Sy Bartlett was to write the screenplay. Bartlett's contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. In addition to Arrowhead, Al Sieber was a featured character in United Artists' 1954 film Apache , and in Mr. Horn, a 1979 CBS television mini-series, directed by Jack Starrett and starring Richard Widmark as Sieber. Actress Kathryn Grant, who acted under the name Kathryn Grandstaff in Arrowhead, made her motion picture debut in the film. The picture also marked the first onscreen billing of actor Brian Keith (1921-1997), who, according to modern sources, had appeared in several unbilled, bit parts from 1924 on.