Humphrey Bogart tested for the role of Napoleon; Bette Davis and Kitty Carlisle were among the many others who auditioned for roles.

William Dieterle had been promised the directing job, which instead went to Mervyn LeRoy (Harry M. Warner's son-in-law).

Milton Krims wanted onscreen credit for his work on the screenplay, but the studio denied his request.

Film debut of Gale Sondergaard, who won a "Best Supporting Actress" Academy Award (which was a new category).

The film required 131 sets, including a 12-acre African compound built on the studio backlot - the largest set which had ever been constructed.

The miniatures that Fred Jackman built for the Port Royal set in Captain Blood were reused in this movie.

The opera being performed in Paris, "The Duchess of Ferrara", is not a real opera; the poster outside identifies the composer as Aldo Franchetti, who plays the conductor in the opera scene.

Warner Bros. paid $40,000 for the screen rights to the 1200-page novel.