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According to an October 1952 Daily Variety news item, Joseph Bernhard bought the screenplay from writer Niven Busch, planning to produce it for Twentieth Century-Fox release, and was negotiating with Jennifer Jones to star in the film. An October 1952 Los Angeles Times news item added that The Moonlighter was to be a follow-up to Ruby Gentry and would reunite its star, Jones, with the director, King Vidor. The Los Angeles Times news item reported that Alan Ladd and Kirk Douglas were among the actors being considered for the male lead.
According to Warner Bros. production notes and Hollywood Reporter production charts, portions of the film were shot at the Ray Corrigan Ranch in Simi Valley, CA and Gene Autry Ranch in Placerita Canyon, New Hall, CA. The waterfall scene was shot at Peppermist Falls in the High Sierras. Despite the 3-D presentation of the film, which the New York Times reviewer claimed served no practical purpose other than exploitation, the Hollywood Citizen-News reviewer commented that Western film fans were getting used to color and would not be pleased with its black and white photography. The Hollywood Reporter review likewise lamented that color would have enhanced the picture. The Hollywood Reporter review also noted the novelty of the outlaws in the film using an automobile as a means of escape.