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The opening credits of this film read: "Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey. According to a news item in New York Times, Benedict Bogeaus, a former Chicago businessman, paid $50,000 for the rights to this picture, which marked his first foray into producing. Pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter yield the following information about the production: Bogeaus negotiated with Rouben Mamoulian and Fritz Lang to direct the picture and considered both Pola Negri and Margo for lead roles. Kent Smith tested for the role of the twin brothers. Bogeaus initially conceived of filming the production in Technicolor. A September 14, 1943 Hollywood Reporter news item announced Philip Tannura as cinematographer, but his contribution to the released film has not been confirmed. Although a September 17, 1943 production chart credits John Mescall as cinematographer, all subsequent production charts list John Boyle in that position. An November 18, 1943 Hollywood Reporter news item adds Theodore Von Eltz to the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A news item in Los Angeles Daily News notes that Reynaldo Luza, who served as technical advisor and costume designer on this picture, was a celebrated Peruvian artist. Although the copyright records, Motion Picture Herald and Variety reviews list the film's running time as 107 minutes, the Daily Variety review lists it as 90 minutes. The viewed print was 87 minutes, the length quoted by modern sources.
This picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Score. Wilder's novel was previously filmed by M-G-M in 1929, and starred Lily Damita and Ernest Torrance and was directed by Charles Brabin (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.0601). On January 21, 1958, CBS broadcast a televised version of the story starring Hume Cronyn, Viveca Lindfors, and directed by Robert Mulligan.