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The film's working title was Middle of the Street. Although the ethnicity of Gia Scala's character "Tessa Milotte" is not stated in the film, it is implied that she is Creole. The Hollywood Reporter review notes that the story that character "Joe Maybe" relates about his rough childhood was inspired by the actual childhood of Billy the Kid. Hollywood Reporter adds that the river town setting of Ride a Crooked Trail is historically accurate as most "trail drives" prior the Civil War headed for New Orleans, Shreveport and St. Louis, but that most Westerns tend to forget this fact. The reviewer speculates that the unnamed river is probably the Mississippi or Red River. 1957 Hollywood Reporter production charts and news items add Morgan Woodward, H. Tommy Hart and Vincent Perry to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed.