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The play on which this film is based was produced on Broadway by A. H. Woods and featured Louis Mann and Sam Bernard in the starring roles. The play ran two seasons on Broadway before it was taken on the road. Actor Charles Winninger appeared in the stage version of Friendly Enemies in 1918. A February 6, 1942 Hollywood Reporter production chart lists Sharon Douglas in the cast, but her participation in the released film has not been confirmed. President Woodrow Wilson provided the foreword to this film, and according to the publicity material, it marked the first time that a picture featured a direct quote from a President of the United States regarding the subject matter of the film. Publicity material also relates the difficulties that properties man Ken Walton encountered in trying to procure a German-language newspaper as a prop for the film at a time when the FBI was enforcing strict bans on the printing of German publications. Walton, according to the publicity sheet, was granted access to an FBI-impounded German-language press in Los Angeles only after an FBI investigation into the matter was completed and after two affidavits were filed by the production company stating that no actual publications with German type would be distributed. The play was first adapted for the screen in 1925, when Producers Distributing Corp. released a version of Friendly Enemies directed by George Melford and starring Lew Fields and Joe Weber (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.1972). Friendly Enemies was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording.