When producer Irving Thalberg cast his wife, Norma Shearer, in the role of Elizabeth Barrett, William Randolph Hearst was enraged that his protégé, Marion Davies, was not given the role. So Hearst pulled Davies out of MGM and placed her with Warner Brothers for the remainder of her career, and for over a year the name "Norma Shearer" did not appear in any Hearst newspapers.
Concerned about the public's reaction, the disturbing subplot about Father Barrett's incestuous designs on his daughter was toned down by the studio. However, Charles Laughton famously remarked that they couldn't censor the "gleam" in his eye.
The Barretts of Wimpole Street opened at the Empire Theater (New York) on February 9, 1931 and ran for 370 performances. The opening night cast included Katharine Cornell as Elizabeth Barrett, Brian Aherne as Robert Browning and Charles Waldron as Edward Moulton-Barrett. There were 2 Broadway revivals, in 1935 and 1945, also starring Cornell and Aherne in both. Flush, a Dog, was in all 3 productions, as well as in this movie and the 1957 remake, but they were probably at least two different dogs.