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Nate Barragar's onscreen credit reads: "Production Manager and Assistant Director." Although the initial Hollywood Reporter production chart lists Peerless Productions as the production company, later charts and other sources credit Clarion Enterprises, Inc. It is possible that the initial chart erroneously listed Peerless, a company owned by Edward Small. According to Warner Bros. production notes and the Daily Variety review, Johnny Trouble was Clarion's first production. A Hollywood Reporter production chart noted that the independent film was planned for United Artists release, but a June 1957 Daily Variety news item reported that Warner Bros. later acquired the distribution rights of the film, which John Carroll, who was president and executive producer of Clarion, and former Republic producer-director John H. Auer produced together.
According to a January 1957 Daily Variety article, the PCA twice rejected the script, citing "unacceptable treatment of illicit sex." A January 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Auer and Carroll continued shooting the script without PCA approval, gambling that their method of handling the "delicate situation" would be approved when the picture was screened. After viewing the completed picture, the officials awarded the film the PCA seal. An October 1957 Variety article reported that David Lord (a pseudonym for writer Henry Peter David), sued Warner Bros. for misspelling his surname as "Loren" on all publicity materials. Ben Ames Williams' screen story, which was titled "Prodigal's Mother," was also the basis for the 1943 Republic production, Someone to Remember, which was directed by Robert Siodmak and starred Mabel Paige and John Craven (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50).