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The working title of this film was Montana Rides. In studio production files in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library, supervising editor Doane Harrison was also listed as co-director on the film. Harrison was supervising editor on all of director Billy Wilder's films and was frequently listed in production notes as co-director. Wilder has stated in a modern interview that while the credit should not be interpreted as equal to the director, he considered Harrison a highly-esteemed collaborator. Harrison was present on the set of Wilder's films, adding his input on the concept of the scenes, and recommending certain shots. It is likely that Harrison contributed in this manner to Branded.
According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Leslie Fenton was originally scheduled to direct the film. Although a March 1, 1950 Hollywood Reporter news item lists Gile Steele as co-costume designer with Edith Head, Steele was not credited onscreen, or in production files, and his contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. Peter Hansen made his feature film debut in the picture. Hollywood Reporter news items add Byron Hightower, Carl Sepulveda, Henry Wills and Roque Ybarra to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to production files, location shooting took place in Douglas, Portal, San Simon and Globe, AZ. Scenes of the Salt River Canyon were shot near Globe. Some scenes were also shot at Vasquez Rocks in Chatsworth, CA, and the Monogram Ranch in Placerita Canyon, Newhall, CA. Burt Lancaster and Charles Bickford appeared in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, broadcast on January 28, 1952.