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Ernest Haycox's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from January 13, 1945 to March 3, 1945. According to a February 1945 Los Angeles Examiner news item, producer Walter Wanger had originally intended to cast John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell and Claire Trevor in the film, having had tremendous success with those actors in his 1939 adaptation of another Haycox novel, Stagecoach (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4284). In addition, a May 1945 New York Times news item states that Robert Siodmak was being considered to direct the picture. According to Los Angeles Times, portions of the film were shot on location near Diamond Lake, OR.
The Daily Variety review states that Patricia Roc, a British actress who made her American film debut in the picture, was borrowed by Universal from J. Arthur Rank under a "lend-lease" deal between the two production companies. Hollywood Reporter production charts include Jimmy Aubrey and Walter Doering in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter production charts also include Ray Collins in the cast, but he did not appear in the film. According to an article in Saturday Evening Post, Hoagy Carmichael, the noted composer, considered his performance as "Hi Linnet" the finest of his career. Carmichael and Jack Brooks's song "Ole Buttermilk Sky" was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost to the Harry Warren-Johnny Mercer tune "On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe" from the M-G-M film The Harvey Girls .