powered by AFI
The working title of this film was The Bandit. According to a Daily Variety news item, independent producer Josef Shaftel bought the rights to the screenplay from Sol Lesser in February 1954. Shaftel shot the film in Mexico, and, according to a March 1955 Daily Variety item, later sold the distribution rights to Universal. According to a March 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, the studio considered changing the film's title to I Love a Stranger. Although Nina and Herman Schneider were given screen credit for the screenplay, the film was actually written by blacklisted writer Julian Zimet, Herman Schneider's brother-in-law. According to a Hollywood Reporter article, Zimet's credit was restored by the WGA in 1997. An April 1954 Hollywood Reporter production chart adds Tony Martinez to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. The Naked Dawn is considered by some modern critics to be the best of director Edgar G. Ulmer's films. Modern sources note that the picture inspired Franois Truffaut's French New Wave classic, Jules et Jim.