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The film's working titles were Young Man in a Hurry and The Family Man. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Gottfried Reinhardt received co-producing credit with William Wright because of the preparation work he did on the film before being reassigned to another M-G-M picture, Invitation. Other news items include Rodney Bell, Dora Sayers, Jack Gargan, Jean Acker, Margaret Farrell, Harry Cody, Helen Dickson, Jean Charney, Ruth Whitney and John Albans in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Will Wright was also included in one casting news item, but he was not in the released film.
According to various news items in Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Daily News, when the film began production, the actor portraying the main character, "Maxwell Webster," was Russell Nype. Nype, who was on a leave of absence from the successful Irving Berlin-scored Broadway musical Call Me Madam, was also to sing a song in the film. After ten to twelve days of production, Nype was removed from the film due to disagreements over how the character should be portrayed. Glenn Ford replaced Nype and much of the initial footage had to be re-shot. Nype returned to Call Me Madam and did not appear in another film until 1970, when he had a role in Love Story (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70). Although actress Elsa Lanchester is listed on the CBCS as "Mme. Johnson," neither she nor that role were in the released film. Young Man with Ideas was director Mitchell Leisen's first M-G-M film since The Squaw Man (1931, see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40).