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Before Stroheim completed this film, it was taken from him by the studio and re-shot almost entirely. When released, the film flopped.
Erich von Stroheim was famous for going over budget and over schedule on his previous films, but this one was finished within budget. He would also claim that it wrapped three days ahead of schedule.
Erich von Stroheim's directorial contract for this film (signed on September 2, 1931) limited him to a film of 8500 feet (about 95 minutes) and prohibited him from appearing on-screen.
The rights to Dawn Powell's un-produced play, on which this film is based, were purchased in September 1931 for $7,500.
The apartment fire scene was budgeted at $5,000 and ended up costing around $7,000.
After director Erich von Stroheim was fired, a studio spokesperson told the press that Stroheim's original cut had been twenty reels and that, while he was planning to edit it down to twelve, another director was being brought in to bring it down to nine reels. There was no truth to this story, but it was widely believed due to Stroheim's reputation for over shooting and for attempting to release films that were commercially too long.
Erich von Stroheim: [Christmas] It is Christmas when Betty learns that she will be a mother.