Although the story was a thinly-disguised recreation of the Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb murder case, the legal department of 20th Century Fox was still concerned about a possible lawsuit from the still-living Leopold. A great effort was made not to mention Leopold or Loeb in the movie, press releases, and interviews. However, there was apparently poor communication with the advertising department, since when the movie came out, newspaper ads stated, "based on the famous Leopold and Loeb murder case." Leopold sued the filmmakers. He did not claim libel, slander, nor anything false nor defamatory about the film. Instead, he claimed an invasion of privacy. The court rejected his claim, in part, because Leopold had already published his own autobiography "Life Plus 99 Years", publicizing essentially the same facts.
In his treatment of the Leopold-Loeb case, Rope (1948), Sir Alfred Hitchcock used his famous "ten-minute takes" and segued from one to the other with a "natural wipe" generally focusing on the back of one of the character's suit jackets. Perhaps as an homage to the Master, this film's director, Richard Fleischer, uses a "natural wipe" focusing on the front of Bradford Dillman's suit to end a scene.
During his closing arguments speech Jonathan Wilk (Orson Welles) mentions that he has practiced law for forty-five to forty-six years. Welles, however, was only forty-three-years-old when the movie was made.
Because Orson Welles was having tax problems during the production, his entire salary for the movie was garnisheed several hours after principal photography was completed. This upset Welles so much, that during the subsequent looping session to rerecord improperly recorded dialogue, Welles suddenly stormed off the studio and left the country. All that was left to fix was twenty seconds of unclear dialogue in Welles' climatic courtroom speech, but Editor William Reynolds managed to fix this problem without Welles. Reynolds took words and pieces of words that Welles had spoken earlier in the movie, and pieced them one by one into those last twenty seconds.
Bradford Dillman, in his autobiography, said that he and Dean Stockwell never got along. Stockwell had previously played his role on-stage, and had wanted his Broadway co-star Roddy McDowall for the movie. Stockwell and Dillman worked again on the little-seen South African thriller One Away (1976) (1976).