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Francis Wallace's novel was first published as a serial in The Saturday Evening Post (11 April-16 May 1936). The film's working title was Carnival. According to production notes included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library, trick photography was not used to make it appear as if Sig Rumann and Eddie Albert were in the lion cage. The actors themselves actually played their scenes with the lions. Some scenes were filmed on location at Sherwood Lake near Los Angeles. Although the Variety review claimed that Sylvia Sidney returned to the screen after "several years away from pictures," she was actually absent for only two years. Wallace's novel was the basis for the 1937 Warner Bros. film Kid Galahad, directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis and Wayne Morris. Humphrey Bogart played a gangster in that film. In 1962, UA made a musical version of the story, directed by Phil Karlson and starring Elvis Presley. Both of these films, like the novel, were set in the boxing world.