'In keeping with the large scale budget, the preview trailer for Sutter's Gold was a full ten minutes long, and had changeover cue marks printed on the negative - just like a short subject.

This was reportedly Universal's biggest box office disaster of the era. It cost $2,000,000 in 1936 when the typical Universal production cost about $100,000.

The story was bought by Universal in the 20s as a project for Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, but was shelved when the studio and the director could not agree on the social aspects of the script. In the mid-80s another version was planned as a joint Canadian-French co-production by Moshe Mizrahi's Rosa Productions by New York-based Isram Film Corporation to be shot in the U.S. and Canada, but for reasons that are unclear it was not made.