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Barre Lyndon's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post (18 January-22 February 1941). The opening credits include the following written dedication: "All over the world today a few men by their courage and faith are serving many. To them this motion picture is dedicated." A April 3, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Jules Furthman was to write the screenplay, but his participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, director Henry Hathaway was borrowed from Paramount for the film. Wanger was allowed to borrow Gene Tierney from Twentieth Century-Fox on the condition she receive "solo star billing." Woody Strode, who is listed in the CBCS as Woodrow Strode, made his screen acting debut in the picture. Strode was also a football player who, along with Kenny Washington, was the first African-American to play in the National Football League.
The film was shot on location in Ship Rock and other New Mexico locations; Mojave Desert, CA; and Crater Lake, OR, according to contemporary news items. The film received the following Academy Award nominations: Best Interior Decoration (Black and White), Best Music (Scoring of a Dramatic Picture) and Best Cinematography (Black and White). The Film Daily review commended the film for its political neutrality, noting that "...while it is known that the 'enemy' is Germany, no names or nationalities are mentioned, so there is no possibility of local dissension on the 'propaganda' score."