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According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. originally wanted Helen Hayes or Miriam Hopkins to star in this film. Life notes that the picture set a new record for number of sets erected, with a total of sixty seven. Life also states that the novel from which it was adapted is allegedly based on the experiences of Rachel Lyman Field's great aunt, who was known as "Mlle. D." According to Bette Davis' autobiography, Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the story for $100,000, and the budget for this film was set at $1,370,000. Davis also notes that the producers paid $1,000 for each of her thirty-five costumes. Material contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library adds that Joseph I. Breen insisted that Warner Bros. change the original character of the Abbe Gillard because he was too sinister, and because religious figures were not allowed to be villains. The picture received the following Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Barbara O'Neil), and Best Cinematography (Ernest Haller). It also was included in Film Daily's "ten best" list of 1940. Modern sources add that associate producer David Lewis wanted Greta Garbo to play the role of Henriette.