Per director Vincent Sherman, the film was actually based on dancer-actress Ginger Rogers' relationship with her quintessential stage-mother, Lela E. Rogers.
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Bette Davis was originally the first choice for the role of Helen Chernin but turned it down. Upon seeing the finished product, however, she mused, "How did I let that one get away?"
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Although it has been claimed that longtime Warner contractee Monte Blue is not in the film, he is clearly visible in the final theatrical sequence sitting two seats to the left of Dennis Morgan.
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Actor Bill Kennedy, who was the voice of the radio announcer in this film, became the host of his own movie show in the mid-to-late 1960's in the Detroit area, first on CKLW-TV (now CBET), Channel 9, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and then from the early 1970's to his retirement in the mid-1980's on WKBD-TV, Channel 50, in Detroit. Kennedy, who was under contract to Warner Bros. in the 1940's as a bit player, often ran old Warner Bros. films on his afternoon movie show; "The Hard Way" was indeed one of them. (Kennedy passed away in 1996.)
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Several actors with their character names listed in studio records and/or casting call lists were not seen in the movie. These were Eddie Coke (Variety Ad Taker), Frank Faylen (Policeman), Howard M. Mitchell (Policeman), Joel Davis (Jimmy, Six Years), Wilbur Mack (Stage Manager), Monte Blue (Assistant Stage Manager), Frances Morris (Telephone Operator) and Merrillee Lannon (Western Union Clerk).
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At 34 minutes into the film, Ida Lupino stands in front of a movie poster for "Bordertown," a 1935 Warners release starring Bette Davis who turned down the role Lupino plays in this film.
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This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Monday 1 October 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Portland OR Monday 14 January 1957 on KLOR (Channel 12), in Salt Lake City Tuesday 5 February 1957 on KUTV (Channel 2), in Columbus Thursday 21 March 1957 on WTVN (Channel 6), and in Cincinnati Saturday 20 April 1957 on WKRC (Channel 12).
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