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The novel on which this film is based was published in America as The Mystery of the Dead Police, which also was the film's working title. The American edition and subsequent British editions are credited to Philip MacDonald, Martin Porlock's real name. An August 1933 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that director Edgar Selwyn was collaborating on the film's screenplay with writer Howard Emmett Rogers. The exact nature of Selwyn's contribution, if any, has not been determined. According to a January 1934 Daily Variety news item, M-G-M ordered that the film's ending be rewritten and reshot based on the reactions of a preview audience. In the first version of the story, "Nick" apparently did not get "Jane." Because Selwyn was in New York, Richard Boleslavsky directed the new scenes. According to a December 1933 Film Daily news item, The Pacific Title and Art studio prepared a trailer for the film, which Pete Smith supervised. In the news item, the film is referred to as Murders of Secret Police, but this probably is an error and not a working title. In 1952, Harold French directed Peter Lawford and Dawn Addams in The Hour of 13, an M-G-M remake of MacDonald's story. That film was shot in England.