In an extraordinary move for the normally controlling director, Sir Alfred Hitchcock allowed Marlene Dietrich an exceptional amount of creative control for this movie, particularly in how she chose to light her scenes. Hitchcock knew that Dietrich had learned a great deal of the art of cinematography from Josef von Sternberg and Günther Rittau and let her to work with Cinematographer Wilkie Cooper to light and set her scenes the way that she wished.
Because Patricia Hitchcock (Chubby Bannister) bore a resemblance to Jane Wyman, her father Sir Alfred Hitchcock asked her to double for Wyman in the scenes that required "danger driving" in the beginning of the movie.
After completing this movie, Sir Alfred Hitchcock didn't work in his native Britain again until Frenzy (1972). However, Hitchcock did film the climactic scenes of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) in London.
Sir Alfred Hitchcock gave his daughter Patricia Hitchcock's character the decidedly unflattering name "Chubby Bannister". In addition to the joke, the name was a term of endearment according to Hitchcock. Alfred said that he liked calling Patricia "Chubby Bannister" because she was "a girl you could always lean on."
One of the songs that Marlene Dietrich sings in this movie is Édith Piaf's signature song, "La Vie en Rose". Dietrich and Piaf were close personal friends, and Piaf granted Dietrich permission to use the song.
DIRECTOR CAMEO (Sir Alfred Hitchcock): Turning to look at Eve in her disguise as Charlotte's maid.
Sir Alfred Hitchcock said that this movie is more than a murder mystery, it is a critical examination of the acting craft. He said that this is a subject that long fascinated him, and this movie provided him with the opportunity to explore it.
During filming, food was still strictly rationed in London. Sir Alfred Hitchcock circumvented this problem by having steaks and roasts flown in from the U.S. to be prepared and cooked at some of the city's finest restaurants. He treated himself and his leading ladies Marlene Dietrich and Jane Wyman to frequent, extravagant dinners. Hitchcock told the actresses that "Ladies must be well fed."
Cole Porter's song, "The Laziest Gal in Town", ran afoul of censors for its sexual innuendo, and for being too risqué. Several lines from the song were reworded, and the tamer version appears in this movie.
Part of the reason that Sir Alfred Hitchcock wanted to make this movie was so that he could spend time with his daughter Patricia Hitchcock. Hitchcock had been based in California for several years, and his daughter had been enrolled as a drama student in the Royal Academy in London. By making this movie in London, Sir Alfred Hitchcock was able to spend time with his daughter and even offered her a small part in the movie.
According to Sir Alfred Hitchcock, he ran into great difficulties with Jane Wyman. Wyman was required to appear frumpy and inelegant when incognito as a maid, but Wyman was reluctant to appear so plain when Marlene Dietrich appeared so glamorous. Hitchcock recounted that Wyman would cry when she would see Dietrich looking glamorous on-set when she, Wyman, was in her maid disguise. Hitchcock said that she could not accept the idea of her character being frumpy or dowdy. Much to Hitchcock's chagrin, Wyman secretly put on make-up or otherwise tried to improve her appearance, thus failing to maintain her character.
It was playwright James Bridie who suggested that Sir Alfred Hitchcock cast Alastair Sim. Bridie also contributed additional dialogue on the script.
Jane Wyman worked for weeks in order to perfect her Cockney accent for one scene. Fellow cast member Kay Walsh coached Wyman on her accent each day after filming had been completed.
When Jane Wyman first enters Marlene Dietrich's house undercover, she introduces herself as Doris Tynsdale, but Dietrich refers to her first as Phyllis, then Elsie, then Doris, then lastly Mavis. It was classic dialogue play for Sir Alfred Hitchcock.
According to Marlene Dietrich's autobiography, she began a heated love affair with Michael Wilding while making this movie. Dietrich and Wilding never married, though Dietrich had been estranged from her husband for many years (and remained so until his death).
In "Hollywood Babble On" Marlene Dietrich is quoted as saying, "I did one film for Alfred Hitchcock. Jane Wyman was in it. I heard she'd only wanted to do it if she were billed above me, and she got her wish. Hitchcock didn't think much of her. She looks too much like a victim to play a heroine, and God knows she couldn't play a woman of mystery, that was my part. Miss Wyman looks like a mystery nobody has bothered to solve."
Sir Alfred Hitchcock originally wanted to cast Tallulah Bankhead for the role of Charlotte Inwood. But the studio suggested casting Marlene Dietrich instead.
Originally, filming was supposed to take place on-location on the English coast, however prolonged and exceptionally bad weather precluded this. Filming was moved to a soundstage at Elstree Studios.
Several members of the cast have had remarkable longevity. Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman and Richard Todd all lived to the age of 90. Sybil Thorndike and Kay Walsh both lived to 93 while Hitchcock's daughter Patricia Hitchcock, as of 2020, is in her early nineties.
The car Jonathan drove to escape the police was a 1947 Armstrong Siddely Typhoon. Only 1,701 were made from 1946 to 1949.
Due to his daughter's resemblance to leading lady Jane Wyman, director Sir Alfred Hitchcock asked her to serve as Wyman's stunt double in the early "dangerous driving" sequences.
At the beginning, Eve is driving a 1946 Triumph 1800 roadster away from St. Paul's Cathedral.
The novel upon which this movie was based, "Man Running" by Selwyn Jepson appeared in serialized form in Collier's Magazine from August 9, 1947 to September 13, 1947.
Most of Irene Handl's performance as Miss Mason, the maid, was removed in post-production.
Alfie Bass's character was called "The Electrician" in both production papers and on Bass's contract.
In Selwyn Jepson's book "Man Running", Jonathan Cooper is called "Jonathan Penrose". In this movie, "Penrose" became "Cooper".
One year after appearing in this, Alistair Sim (seen here as Jane Wyman's elderly father) played his best known role - Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1951 British remake of A Christmas Carol, which many consider the finest screen version of Dickens' classic holiday tale.
When Commodore Gill (Alastair Sim) is talking to the detective, "Ordinary" Smith (Michael Wilding), he is pretending to try to think of the name of the prime suspect. He first calls the name Crippen instead of Cooper. Crippen was the name of the British doctor who killed his wife in 1910 and fled by ship across the Atlantic. He was the first suspect ever to be captured through the use of wireless telegraphy.