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According to July 22, 1945 New York Times article, RKO originally intended to film The Diary of a Chambermaid, with Burgess Meredith, Jean Renoir and Paulette Goddard acting as producers, but agreement could not be reached on the treatment of the story. A March 1945 Los Angeles Examiner item stated that Dudley Nichols was working on the script at that time. Renoir, Meredith and Goddard then formed Camden Productions, Inc. to produce the film. Goddard and Meredith were married at the time of the film's production. Benedict Bogeaus, owner of General Service Studios, became the principal shareholder when he supplied $900,000 to the company. The New York Times article also notes that the film's settings and costumes were copied from the paintings of Pierre Renoir, the father of director Jean Renoir. For this reason, the time period was set at 1885. According to modern sources, Renoir considered hiring Anita Loos to write the script. Although initial critical response was lukewarm, the film went on to make a profit and was named by the National Board of Review as one of the ten best of the year. Octave Mirbeau's novel also served as the source for Louis Buuel's 1974 film Le journal d'une femme de Chambre.