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The working title of this film was Alaskan Seas. Voice-over narration describing the history of salmon fishing in Alaska is heard at the beginning of the film. Florence Barrett Willoughby's novel was serialized in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Sep 1935-January 1936). Although Hollywood Reporter production charts indicate that the film was shot in widescreen, no reviews mention the process. According to a July 1952 Daily Variety news item, Van Heflin was originally cast in the role of "Jim," but withdrew from the project with the "consent" of the studio. Brian Keith, who was originally cast as "Williams," assumed Heflin's role, and Gene Barry was cast in the part originally assigned to Keith.
Willoughby's novel was first brought to the screen in 1938 as Spawn of the North. The Paramount production was directed by Henry Hathaway and starred George Raft, Henry Fonda and Dorothy Lamour (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40).