Although most Westerns by this time were being produced in color, Delmer Daves and Charles Lawton Jr. opted to shoot this one in black and white. Lawton used red filters on his lenses, however, to give the landscape an even more starkly parched look, befitting the story's setting amid a lengthy drought.
In casting the film, Delmer Daves first hired actors from his previous two movies, Glenn Ford and Felicia Farr. Due to their work on these movies, Ford and Farr were quite used to the complex characters and themes that Daves brought to the genre.
The theme song is sung by Frankie Laine. Well-known for singing the theme songs to westerns, and for having such sincerity in his voice when doing so, It was because of his very familiar contributions to westerns that Mel Brooks chose Laine to sing the theme for Blazing Saddles (1974). The inside joke was that Laine sang his heart out, never realizing that the lyrics were a spoof.
Opening credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional.