"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 8, 1939 with Paul Muni reprising his film role.

Bonita Granville (Violet) is in studio records/casting call lists for this movie, but she did not appear or was not identifiable.

Due to severe flooding in Los Angeles in 1938, the presentation of the Best Picture Oscar for this movie was postponed from Thursday March 3rd to Thursday March 10, 1938. (see also - In the Heat of the Night and Raging Bull).

Early in the film, Zola burns a few books to warm his drafty apartment. When Cezanne opens the window to let out the smoke, Zola asks him to close the windows to avoid a draft. The real Emile Zola in fact died of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a stopped chimney.

The film was shot in reverse order; Paul Muni grew his own beard for the role, and it was trimmed and darkened as he proceeded to scenes where Zola is younger. His makeup took 3-1/2 hours to apply each morning.

The Latin on Zola's mansion's fireplace hearth, seen twice, is "Nulla Dies Sine Linea": "No Day Without a Line".

This was the first film to receive 10 Academy Award nominations.