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The working title of this picture was Woman with a Whip. In the onscreen credits, Samuel Fuller's credit reads "Written, produced-directed by Samuel Fuller." The onscreen credits read "Songs sung by Jidge Carroll." Although Eve Brent's onscreen cast credit reads "and introducing Eve Brent," she had appeared in several earlier films under the name "Jean Ann Lewis." Forty Guns marked the first time she was billed as Brent. A 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Philip Dunne was initially to produce this film. The Variety review misspells the character played by Robert Dix as "Chica."
According to an April 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item, backgrounds were filmed in Arizona. In an interview reprinted in a modern source, Fuller stated that in the original ending of the film, "Griff" shoots and kills Jessica after "Brockie" takes her hostage. According to Fuller, Twentieth Century-Fox forced him to change the ending to the one in which Griff wounds Jessica and then kills Brockie.