Film noir adaptation of the famous "Suspense" radio play (first broadcast on May 25th 1943) which starred Agnes Moorehead in the lead role. It proved so popular that the series restaged it seven times through to 1960, each production starring Moorehead.
Barbara Stanwyck found that sustaining that level of emotion all week long and then going home on the weekend was a draining experience. "Five days I was handling it, starting the next day's work where I'd picked up, sustaining it all, and then I had two whole days to relax and not to worry about the character, and I tell you it was strange," said Stanwyck. "It was really hard to pump myself up on Monday morning to try to feel that desperate tension."
Reportedly, Anatole Litvak and Burt Lancaster butted heads over how to play the role of Henry. Things got so heated between the two that Lancaster threatened to walk off the picture altogether. They managed to iron out their differences enough to complete the film, but the two never worked together again.
Barbara Stanwyck shot her part over an intense twelve-day period. Since her character was mostly confined to her bed with only the company of a telephone, it presented a challenge for the actress. Anatole Litvak, whom Stanwyck liked and trusted, asked her how she would prefer to shoot her scenes. Stanwyck chose to shoot them in chronological order. Doing this, she believed, would help her build the terror of her character most effectively. "Almost from the word go," said Stanwyck, "she is way up there emotionally, and stays there day after day...I decided I'd prefer to jump in, bam, go, stay there, up, try to sustain it all the way and shoot the works."
For Barbara Stanwyck's scenes in her apartment, cinematographer Sol Polito utilized the confined spaces and dark shadows of the black and white photography to make the posh Manhattan apartment seem like her prison.
1948 was a good year for director Anatole Litvak with this film proving a success at the box office. His other film of that year was The Snake Pit (1948), another sizeable hit, that also attracted considerable critical attention (mainly for Olivia de Havilland's performance as a mental patient) as well as seven Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Director.