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The title of Harold Buckley's original screen story was "Half Way to Shanghai," which was the film's working title, along with Eye of the Needle. According to Screen Achievements Bulletin, there was a dispute among the film's writers over film credit: originally, Lester Cole, Harold Buckley and Louis Stevens were credited with screenplay, and Robert Lee Johnson was listed as a contributing writer. Cole and Buckley protested Stevens' credit, however, and on March 30, 1938, the credits were amended to exclude him. Stevens retaliated, however, and the original credits were restored. The Motion Picture Herald review for this film states, "The villains, if any, are the munitions salesmen, a circumstance in seeming consonance with the present attitude of Hollywood producers toward young men who sell cannon for a living." According to a modern source, this film was one of two "B" pictures James Whale was obligated to make to complete the terms of his contract at Universal. (The second was Wives Under Suspicion, see below.) Assigned his cast and crew, Whale reportedly dubbed these films his "punishment pictures." According to a news item in Variety on November 22, 1950, this film was re-issued as Secrets of a Sinner.