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King Vidor's director credit appears in the form of a signature. Voice-over narration by Bernard Phillips, as "Dr. Saul Manfred," is heard intermittently throughout the film. According to a June 17, 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item, Jane Darwell was originally set to play "Ma Corey" but had to withdraw from the production due to conflicting commitments. According to a modern source, Joan Fontaine was originally considered for the leading role. Athough Hollywood Reporter production charts and a July 3, 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item include Howard Negley, Earl Lee, Arthur Lovejoy and Hazel Keener in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed.
Hollywood Reporter news items and studio publicity reported that the picture was partially shot on location in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, San Marino, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach and Vidor's ranch in Willow Creek, CA. Background footage was shot in North Carolina, where, according to studio publicity, Jennifer Jones spent several weeks prior to production to perfect her Southern accent. Numerous modern sources have pointed out the similarities between Ruby Gentry and Duel in the Sun, the 1947 Vanguard Films production that was directed by Vidor and starred Jones and Charlton Heston as antagonistic lovers (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). "Ruby," the theme from Ruby Gentry, became a popular instrumental hit, to which lyricist Mitchell Parish later added words. The song then became one of Ray Charles' most popular standards.