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According to an article in New York Daily News about the Broadway production of John Patrick's play, the character of "Lachie" was based on a real soldier whom Patrick knew in Burma (now Myanmar). The same article stated that the film's title came from an old Scottish proverb: "They say that sorrow is born in the hasty heart," but according to a December 4, 1949 New York Times article, Patrick admitted that he had invented this "adage." In February 1945, a Los Angeles Examiner news item reported that M-G-M was buying the play, and that Robert Montgomery was being considered for the role of "Lachie." According to a February 29, 1945 press release, John Dall was to play "Lachie" and Dennis Morgan was to play "Yank." This film marked Richard Todd's first starring performance and earned him an Academy Award nomination. The picture was named one of 1949's ten best films by The Tidings, the official Catholic publication of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The Hasty Heart was adapted for television three times following the film's release. It was broadcast on Broadway Television Theatre on November 2, 1953, starring John Dall and Hurd Hatfield, and on CBS-TV's Dupont Show of the Month on December 22, 1958, with Don Murray and Jackie Cooper. On September 12, 1983, the Showtime cable network aired a television version of the 1982 Los Angeles stage production of The Hasty Heart, starring Gregory Harrison and Cheryl Ladd.