When this movie was made, America was not part of World War II. At this time, a number of Hollywood studios were pro-American involvement in the war. This movie is one of a number of films made during the late 1930s and early 1940s that represented pro-American intervention in the war. These films include: A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941), Man Hunt (1941), Foreign Correspondent (1940), The Mortal Storm (1940), Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) and Sergeant York (1941).
This was one of several films mentioned in the September 1941 Senate subcommittee hearings on Propaganda in Motion Pictures, where isolationist senators Nye, Clark and Wheeler attacked Hollywood for "war-mongering." Senator Nye, who testified before the committee, had not seen most of the films mentioned. The subcommittee did not reconvene after September due to the attack on Pearl Harbor in December. The featurette included on the 2009 DVD release contends that the making of war-mongering films would be a violation of the Neutrality Act, which focused on restricting arms sales to belligerent nations, regardless of their status of aggressor or defender.
When Thorndike (Pidgeon) is captured, the George Sanders character inspects his belongings including his rifle, which bears the maker's name of "Hammond and Hammond, Bond Street". There was no such gunsmith in the UK and it seems likely the name is borrowed from a very famous gunsmith called Holland and Holland of Bruton Street, which is situated nearby.
The film was originally proposed as a subject for director John Ford, but he turned it down.
Published months before the UK became involved in WWII, British author Geoffrey Household never once mentions Adolf Hitler, the Nazi party, or Germany in his novel. In an interview for the release of Rogue Male (1976), Household said, "Although the idea for Rogue Male germinated from my intense dislike of Hitler, I did not actually name him in the book as things were a bit tricky at the time and I thought I would leave it open so that the target could be either Hitler or Stalin. You could take your pick". Over forty years after the release of the first book, Household wrote the sequel Rogue Justice, this time the target is unambiguous.
20th Century Fox had an impressive replica of a London tube station built on stage 9 with the aid of actual blueprints.
The original novel, Rogue Male, is written in first-person narrative and protagonist's name is never given. Characters such as Jerry, Lord Risborough, and Lady Risborough were created for the film.
Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
In an Filmwax Radio discussion with Joseph McBride, author of "Searching for John Ford", McBride cited several sources close to the legendary director who recounted discussions they had with Ford regarding his brief envolvement with this film. John Ford was apparently Darryl F. Zanuck's first choice to direct, however when Ford learned that Jewish pro-war bankers were offering to bail Zanuck out of debt if Twentieth Century Fox produced the film, he withrew from negotiations. He was quoted as saying "they wanted "Man Hunt" to look like an anglo project, which is why they went to Zanuck and why he suggested me. They even offered me twice my standard salary at the time. It seemed very devious so I passed - but I wisely kept my mouth shut."