Film debut of Howard Duff.
Former Warner Bros. producer Mark Hellinger, who had started his own independent production unit at Universal-International, wanted Wayne Morris to star in his first picture, The Killers. Warners wouldn't loan Morris out, so Hellinger cast Burt Lancaster, who had made his motion picture debut in "The Killers".
When Munsey is beating the reporter for information on the escape, he plays the overture to Wagner's "Tannheuser". Perhaps a reference to Hitler's love of Wagner.
When the Group Theater (1931-1940), the first American acting company to attempt to put the Russian Stanislavski's principles into action, disbanded many of the actors who had participated in its revolutionary realistic productions on Broadway ("Awake and Sing" "Waiting for Lefty") made their way to Hollywood in search of work;, Roman Bohnen ("Warden"), and Art Smith ("Dr. Walters") - all of whom can be seen in this film. As many of the actors in The Group were members of the Communist Party or leftist organizations, they would soon be blacklisted during the HUAC period along with the director of this film, Jules Dassin. In 1946, a year before the release of this film, Elia Kazan, one of the members of The Group Theater who named names, happened to be in Hollywood and saw a production of one of Tennessee Williams's early plays "Portrait of a Madonna" directed by Hume Cronyn - who plays the sadistic Capt. Munsey in this film. Kazan was so impressed by the work of Cronyn's wife, Jessica Tandy, that he offered her the role of Blanche Dubois in his Broadway production of "Streetcar Named Desire."