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At the end of the film, just prior to the cast list, the following written epilogue appears: "The medical facts in this motion picture are authentic. Luminous toxin is a descriptive term for an actual poison." Actress Lynne Baggett's name is misspelled "Lynn" in the onscreen credits. The film marked the motion picture debut of actress Beverly Garland, who was billed as Beverly Campbell. The film was shot on location in and around San Francisco and Los Angeles. According to modern sources, the idea for D.O.A.'s unusual storyline was taken from a 1931 German film, Der Mann, Der Seinen Morder Sucht [The Man Who Seeks His Murderer], directed by Robert Siodmak. An Australian version of Russell Rouse and Clarence Green's story, entitled Color Me Dead, was directed by Eddie Davis and released in 1969. That version, produced by Goldsworthy, starred Tom Tryon and Carolyn Jones. In 1988, a much-altered remake of D.O.A. was produced by Touchstone Pictures. That version retained the original title and was directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, and starred Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.
Some modern sources erroneously state that D.O.A. was character actor Neville Brand's first film. Although D.O.A. marked Brand's first onscreen billing, he had previously appeared in the 1949 film Port of New York (see below).