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According to a March 12, 1945 studio memo from producer Jerry Wald to Warner Bros. executive Steve Trilling, reproduced in a modern source, large portions of Clifford Odets' script were originally written for the 1945 film Rhapsody in Blue, which was based on the life of George Gershwin (see below). Odets' script was not used in the final version of that film. In the Fanny Hurst story and its 1920 film screen adaptation, Humoresque, the character of the violinist was Jewish, and that background was an integral part of the story. Although an undated studio memo to Wald, reprinted in a modern source, states that screenwriter Barney Glazer, who worked on an early version of the script, wanted "Paul Boray" to remain Jewish, his ethnic background was left unspecified in the finished film. Undated press releases included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library announced that Irving Rapper was to direct the film, Waldo Salt to write it, James Wong Howe to photograph it, and Gig Young to star in it.
Hollywood Reporter news items add that Eleanor Parker was first assigned to the female lead. Hollywood Reporter also notes that some scenes were shot on location at Laguna Beach, CA. According to the New York Times review, Peg La Centra sings "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan," but this song was not heard in the viewed film. According to Oscar Levant's autobiography, two violinists doubled off-camera for John Garfield: while one did the fingering, the second used the bow. Other modern sources state that Garfield did the fingering himself, after taking lessons from violinist Harry Zogan. Violinist Isaac Stern played the music heard on the soundtrack. Franz Waxman was nominated for an Academy Award for his musical score. The 1920 Famous Players-Lasky film Humoresque was directed by Frank Borzage and starred Gaston Glass and Vera Gordon (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.2096). On April 29, 1941, Screen Directors' Playhouse broadcast a version of the story.