'Joseph L. Mankiewicz'' first script contained several novelties that never made it to the screen. Among them was a series of memos from a theater-chain owner (made to look as though they had been slipped in front of the projector) that commented on the action taking place. Also, there was to have been a running argument (resembling backstage squabbling) between a theater manager and the actor playing Cecil over such things as lines and cues.

Anne Bancroft was originally cast as Merle McGill, but she turned it down for a stage role.

Three dream sequences were filmed (though ultimately scrapped) of the women fantasizing Cecil's death and their inheritance.