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The prison yard sequence was shot at M-G-M, using the set originally built for "The Big House" (1930).
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The only non-Caucasian prisoner in the 2500-man prison is Japanese Tetsu Komai.
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Boris Karloff had previously played the role of Galloway in a stage production.
The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 2 October 1929 and closed in March 1930 after 173 performances. The opening night cast included Arthur Byron as Brady, Russell Hardie as Graham, Anita Kerry as Mary Brady, Burr Caruth, Ethel Griffies and Walter Kingsford. Galloway was played by Henry Crossen.
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This movie was referenced in Targets(1969) in which Karloff played a thin veiled version of himself.
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After drugging Katie the housekeeper with tea to ensure his alibi, Galloway pours out the contents of the cup in the sink, presumably to preclude any analysis of it, but he leaves the teapot to be discovered. Though, it is possible for him to have laced the cup with the drug before pouring the tea.