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"The Reluctant Hangman," the short story on which the film was based, first appeared in the March 1956 issue Texas Rangers. Although onscreen credits list the author's name as John Reese, the story was actually published under Reese's pseudonym, "John Jo Carpenter." A Variety review lists Robert Vaughn's character as "The Kid," but he is called Eddie Campbell throughout the film and is only referred to as "Kid" by the outlaws. Although a Hollywood Reporter production chart placed Keith Richards in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.