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The working title of the film was Gambler's Choice. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Charles Lawton was originally set to photograph the film and John Carroll was at one time cast in the role of "Blackie." Other news items indicate that portions of the film were shot in Idyllwild, CA and that the film was going to be shown as a "unit show" with Whistling in the Dark (see below). Northwest Rangers was one of several late 1942 M-G-M films that were backlogged and May not have been released throughout the country until early 1943. According to press information contained in the AMPAS Library file on the film, the story was to end after "Blackie" was brought back to trial and sent to the gallows, a conclusion similar to Manhattan Melodrama, the 1934 M-G-M film on which Northwest Rangers was based. Arthur Caesar, who wrote the original story of the 1934 film, is given onscreen credit for the story of Northwest Rangers. Manhattan Melodrama was directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starred Clark Gable, William Powell and Myrna Loy. (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.2734).
Reviews indicate that all versions of Northwest Rangers, even those shown at press previews, had the ending as stated in the above summary. The CBCS lists a number of actors and roles for a courtroom and execution sequence, but they were not in the viewed print. Those sequences were apparently shot, but removed prior to the first press previews. Actors listed but not seen in the viewed print were: George Carleton (Bailiff), Howard Hickman (Judge), Emmett Vogan (Jury foreman), William Tannen, Roy Barcroft, Herbert Heyes, Pat McVey and Leigh Sterling (Guards), James Millican (Warden), Russell Hicks (High Commissioner) and Hooper Atchley, Howard Mitchell, Dick Rush and Murdock MacQuarrie (Jury). According to a July 14, 1942 M-G-M press release, the North West Mounted Police did not like the picture and objected to the frequent use of the word "Mountie" in the story.