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Gordon Ray Young's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from March 7, 1942 to April 25, 1942. According to a pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter, Maurice Geraghty was assigned to script the film, but the extent of his contribution to the final film has not been determined. This was John Wayne's first film under his new RKO contract, which required him to star in one RKO picture per year for seven years. It was also former film editor Theron Warth's first credit as an associate producer. A news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that some scenes were filmed at the RKO Ranch in Encino, CA. The film was among the first to employ a new technique developed by photographer Vernon L. Walker that could combine matte clouds and mountain backgrounds with outdoor process shots, according to Hollywood Reporter.