The movie was rumored to be based on the death of tobacco heir Zachary "Smith" Reynolds. The youngest son of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds, the 20-year-old playboy had a complete disinterest in the family business, an inexhaustible allowance and a volatile temper. Smith owned a plane and literally stalked Broadway musical comedy star Libby Holman until the 27-year-old singer married him in 1931. Their marriage was a clash of wills and, during an alcohol-fueled July 4th holiday party in 1932 at the family's estate, Libby announced she was pregnant. Stories differ, but there was reportedly a tense confrontation, a gunshot and the young Smith was dead. Libby and Ab Walker, a close friend of Smith's who was whispered to be her lover, were indicted for murder. Fearing scandal over their son's activities, the intensely secretive Reynolds family "persuaded" authorities to drop the charges. The death was officially ruled a suicide.
Douglas Sirk wanted it to be stated that Kyle Hadley was gay in the film. However this could not be mentioned directly due to the Hay's Code. Nevertheless it is still implied that Hadley is secretly in love with Mitch Wayne.
Kyle Hadley is driving an Allard J2X Le Mans. Allard Motors of GB built these expensive cars using American engines, using the then new and refined Cadillac 303 cubic inch (5.4 liter) V-8 and later some with the new Chrysler hemi. In the early '50's these Cadillac powerplants did well in the 24 hr. Le Mans races.