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The working title of this film was The Bail Bond Story. The film opens with a voice-over narration spoken by Jim Backus as his character, "Nick Ferrone." Backus briefly describes the bail bond business. According to a November 1948 Los Angeles Examiner news item, actor Fred MacMurray bought Martin Rackin's screen story "out of his own pocket" and instructed his agent to "package" the deal with himself as the film's star. The same article noted that, on the day that MacMurray purchased the story, the Los Angeles papers ran an item announcing that the local bail bond "racket" was about to be exposed. Despite MacMurray's apparent interest in the project, he was replaced by Raft shortly after buying Rackin's story. In February 1949, Hollywood Reporter announced that, after his departure from The Woman on Pier 13 , RKO contract director Nicholas Ray was being considered for the picture. On April 27, 1949, the first day of production, Hollywood Reporter announced that Jean Wallace had been cast in the feminine lead. Wallace did not appear in the film, however.