Jo Van Fleet was originally considered as Kruger's wife but the casting of Claire Trevor was hoped would rekindle the chemistry she showed opposite Robinson in the earlier "Key Largo," for which she won an Oscar.
The old film of Kirk Douglas's character Jack that is being screened is The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).
Spencer Tracy was considered for the role of Kruger, but when money became a consideration, Edward G. Robinson was cast because he was cheaper. Robinson was paid $100,000 and filled in for Tracy again for metro in "The Cincinnati Kid" a few years later.
According to studio records, this film was a disaster at the box office for MGM, losing almost $3M ($24M in 2016 dollars).
Agent Irving 'Swifty' Lazar negotiated the sale of screen rights for Irwin Shaw's novel for $55.000.
Kirk Douglas was paid $500,000 for acting in this film, and was also entitled to 10% of the profits (but there weren't any). Cyd Charisse was paid $50,000 and was cast despite Douglas's strong opposition.
The Maserati Jack is given to drive is a 1960 3500 GT Vignale Spyder. Only 242 were made. Fully restored, these cars can easily go for well into six figures at auction as of 2016. This particular car, serial number AM101.1007, as of 2005 was still in existence. After having originally been sold in Italy, it has made its way through various owners in California, then the Netherlands and Germany, and then back to the USA. The last known photographs of this car shows it has since been painted red.
Kirk Douglas was insistent that Cyd Charisse be billed under the title and not given equal billing with himself and Edward G. Robinson.