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The novel was originally serialized in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Sep 1936-January 1937), and the motion picture rights were purchased by Twentieth Century-Fox in May 1936, before the novel was published. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, William Faulkner was assigned as a writer to this film for a short time, but he merely read the script and did no writing. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, early in January 1938, Darryl Zanuck increased the budget for the production, and it was to be made "on a road-show scale." This was the first film of Richard Greene, an English stage actor, who was described in Variety as "a good-appearing youth of the Robert Taylor-Tyrone Power type." According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was originally signed for the lead. A pre-release Motion Picture Herald news item noted that "Darryl F. Zanuck is giving the film his personal attention." According to contemporary sources, the roles of Lionel Pape, Brandon Hurst, George Regas, Selmer Jackson and Francesco Maran May have been cut prior to the film's release. Director John Ford, in an interview published in a modern source, stated "I just didn't like the story, or anything about it, so it was a job of work." According to the legal records, some scenes were shot at Franklyn Canyon and Municipal Airport, in Los Angeles. In 1948, Twentieth Century-Fox released another film based on the same source, entitled Fury at Furnace Creek, which was directed by Bruce Humberstone and starred Victor Mature.