Gary Cooper was not in the original Beau Geste, but he did appear both in this remake of it and in the sequel to it, Beau Sabreur. William A. Wellman declined the job of directing the latter film but did direct this one.
Charles Barton, who has a small part as Buddy McMonigal, was at the time an assistant director at Paramount, having started his career as an actor. He had had a bad experience working as an A.D. to Paramount's top director, Cecil B. DeMille, on Union Pacific and refused to work with him again when he was assigned to. Paramount "demoted" him to a bit actor on this picture as punishment. Barton soon left Paramount for Columbia where he was made a director, and never worked for Paramount again.
At the film's world premiere, the first reel of the 1926 silent version of "Beau Geste" was shown just before the entire 1939 sound version, in an effort to demonstrate how far films had advanced in thirteen years. This almost backfired because the 1939 film apparently followed the 1926 one extremely closely, and some of the first-night critics were annoyed rather than pleased at this, feeling that the 1939 version should have been more imaginative. However, this did not keep the 1939 version from becoming a smash hit and a film classic.
Film was honored on one of four 25¢ US commemorative postage stamps issued 23 March 1990 honoring classic films released in 1939. The stamp featured Gary Cooper as Beau Geste. The other films honored were Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind.
One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.
This remake of the 1926 film (Beau Geste) was shot on the same sets at the same locations in Yuma, AZ, as the original.