The flying scenes were filmed during the third week in November 1953 using a DC-4 borrowed from Transocean Airlines. The ending scene showing all the passengers and crew disembarking in San Francisco according to the pilot was actually filmed at the old and now-defunct Glendale Air Terminal , where a special outdoor movie set was constructed to replicate the terminal gates at San Francisco in those days.
At the time of filming, Hawaii was not a state, but it was a territory of the United States, and going through immigration between Honolulu and the mainland was not necessary. No passports for U.S. citizens were ever shown nor needed.
Unavailable for viewing for 20 years due to several royalty disputes, the film was made available again in 2005 through the estate of John Wayne. Extensive restoration, including the recovery of a lost reel, was required before the film was in proper condition for DVD release and future television broadcasts.
Although it is widely believed that the DC-4 airliner used to film the passengers' boarding and flying sequences was the same plane which was lost on March 28, 1964, when the plane (a former military Douglas C-54A-10-DC built in 1944, registered as N4726V, and known as the "The Argentine Queen") crashed into the Pacific Ocean about 700 miles west of San Francisco, this is a myth. As verified by the log book of the Transocean Airlines pilot who flew the DC-4 in the film, Captain Bill Keating (see his letter to the editor in the Transocean Airlines newsletter of February 2008, page 6), the actual airplane used in the film was the Transocean Airlines DC-4 "African Queen," registration number N-4665V.
This film features 4 future "Star Trek" actors--Paul Fix who played Dr. Piper in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", William Schallert who played Nilz Barris in "The Trouble with Tribbles"; David Brian who played John Gill in "Patterns of Force" and William Campbell who played the Klingon Koloth in "Trouble with Tribbles" and Trelane in "Squire of Gothos".