Wallace Beery's mess-hall diatribe is parodied by Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, when he goes undercover in the prison and complains about the quality of the food.

Lon Chaney was originally cast in the role of Butch Schmidt. But due to his untimely illness, the role was given to Wallace Beery.

Director George W. Hill threatened to fire anyone who "acted", and forbade makeup.

Hal Roach, who had been releasing his comedies through MGM, obtained an agreement allowing him to use the prison set from "The Big House" for a Laurel & Hardy short. Howver, as the comedy was being planned, MGM stipulated that Laurel & Hardy would have to make a film for the parent studio. Not wanting to loan out his biggest stars, Roach built his own set, an expense so great that the short was expanded to feature length to recoup the cost. The film became "Pardon Us", Laurel and Hardy's first starring feature.

In Frances Marion's original script, the characters played by Leila Hyams and Robert Montgomery were husband and wife. After the film flopped in a preview screening, MGM studio executive Irving Thalberg decided that the problem was that audiences, especially women, didn't want to see the Chester Morris character have an affair with a married woman. So the script was rewritten to make Montgomery and Hyams brother and sister. Scenes were reshot and the film, in its modified form, became a major hit.