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According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, Columbia bought the rights to the play in 1938 for $100,000 as a starring vehicle for Jean Arthur, who was to be directed by Frank Capra. John Garfield (who portrayed Joe Bonaparte in the play), Elia Kazan, Richard Carlson and Tyrone Power were all considered for the role of Bonaparte, but Fox refused to loan-out Power and Carlson's commitment to Stars in Your Eyes, a Broadway show, prevented him from taking the role. A New York Times article notes that director Rouben Mamoulian was so impressed by William Holden's screen test that he arranged for Columbia to buy 50 percent of his contract from Paramount. This picture marked Holden's first starring role and launched his film career. Another news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that the film was shot on location at Madison Square Garden. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. Modern sources credit George Cooper as sound recorder, Leo Shuken with orchestrations, Abe Roth as technical advisor and Hollis Donahue as Barbara Stanwyck's hairdresser.