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The working titles of this film were Code 3 and Dial 116. The opening credits are superimposed over a shot of a page from a Los Angeles phone book, with instructions to "Dial Red O" in order to make an emergency call. Daniel B. Ullman's onscreen credit reads: "Written and Directed by Daniel B. Ullman." Sam Peckinpah (1925-1984) who worked as the picture's dialogue director, also had a small role in the film, playing a cook. Dial Red O was the director-screenwriter's first feature film acting role. He appeared onscreen periodically thoughout his career, either as Sam or David or David Samuel Peckinpah.
Dial Red O was the first of a series of five films starring Bill Elliott as a police lieutenant. Although Elliott's character was called "Lt. Andy Flynn" in the first film, he was called "Lt. Andy Doyle" in the subsequent pictures. Several of the films featured Don Haggerty as Doyle's partner, "Sgt. Mike Duncan." Four of the five films were produced by Ben Schwalb, and all of the pictures were produced and released by Allied Artists. The last of the "Lt. Andy Doyle" pictures, Footsteps in the Night, was released in March 1957.