Not only did Lon Chaney forgo his customary grotesque makeup for this picture; he refused to wear any film makeup at all, because - he reportedly reasoned - to have done so would have detracted from the documentary reality and integrity of the picture.
Because his performance was considered to be so realistic, Lon Chaney became the first actor to be granted an honorary membership in the U.S. Marine Corps. When Chaney died in 1930, Gen. Smedley Butler arranged for a military chaplain and honor guard at Chaney's funeral. Sgt. H.H. Hopple, who had been a technical advisor on this film, served as the honor guard.