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The print viewed did not include credits for the title, presenter, director, writers, songwriters, cast or companies. Producer Douglas MacLean starred in a 1919 film based on the same source, produced by Thomas H. Ince Productions, distributed by Famous Players-Lasky Corp, and directed by Henry King (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.4594). According to the pressbook in the copyright descriptions, after Ince died and his estate was disposed of by his wife, MacLean bought the screen rights to the film. According to news items, MacLean revived his former company in May 1936, and in August 1936, as work was progressing on the treatment, MacLean decided to make the story into a musical. MacLean made a search at the drama schools at a number of Western universities for an unknown for the male lead, and postponed production when he found no one suitable. Maurice Hill was originally announced for the lead, but MacLean borrowed James Ellison from Paramount after seeing a preview of The Plainsman. Hill was relegated to a featured role, according to a news item; it is possible that Morgan Hill, who received credit for the role of Tommy, is the same person as Maurice Hill. In February 1937, after looking at rushes, Grand National executive Edward L. Alperson raised the budget to allow five more shooting days, making the film Grand National's most expensive production to date. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Dr. John Cantillon received a bonus from MacLean for keeping flu germs from the cast of sixteen principals so that none of them missed a day of shooting due to illness. According to the pressbook, this was Morgan Hill's screen debut and the first starring role for Terry Walker, who was loaned from Paramount. The pressbook also notes that after wardrobe man Waldron "Slats" Johnson found the faded hat that MacLean wore in the 1919 film, Ellison insisted on wearing it in this one.