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Working titles for this film were The McKinley Case, Living Dangerously, The Turn of the Century and Private Enemy. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item in September 1936, the film was originally envisioned by Twentieth Century-Fox to "dwell on the detective angle" of the investigation into the assassination of President William McKinley. The news item states that the subject of the film was changed when the studio decided to make a film about the career of detective Allan Pinkerton. That film was never made. According to the news item, in September 1936, when the film was to be called Living Dangerously, the emphasis was to be on "events of the Spanish-American war period, including the sinking of the Maine." Motion Picture Herald speculates that the title May have been changed to This Is My Affair because of the interest in the romance between Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor, who was borrowed from M-G-M for this film. Stanwyck and Taylor were married in 1939. The Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library contains notes dated November 5, 1936 from a conference with Darryl Zanuck, which seem to indicate that the title was selected with little regard for its applicability to the story. In the notes, Zanuck instructed his writers, "For the time being, the new title This Is My Affair is to be kept confidential. However, we want to work this title into the dialogue somewhere." Reviews state that the film was purported to be based on a true incident and that Lieutenant Richard L. Perry was an actual person. According to information in the Produced Scripts Collection, a story entitled "Arm of the Law" by cameraman Bert Glennon was purchased in 1936 in connection with this film. A story entitled "A Pinkerton Man" by John W. Considine, Jr. is also included in the file for the film in the Produced Scripts Collection, but it is not known whether any material from either story was used in the final film. The Motion Picture Herald "In the Cutting Room" column states that the film was based on a story written by Melville Crossman (Darryl Zanuck's pseudonym), which appeared in Liberty Magazine. No other source mentions that story.
According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, at various times, George Marshall and John Cromwell, were scheduled to direct. According to New York Times, the team of Rice and Cady performed a forty-year-old vaudeville routine in the film. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, June Terry was engaged to perform a specialty dance, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. The film was previewed in Hollywood on May 13, 1937 at which time it was 90 minutes, according to Motion Picture Herald.