The last line of the play had to be partly obliterated by the sound of a typewriter being accidentally struck because the censors (even of that day) wouldn't allow the phrase "son-of-a-bitch" to be used in a film.
The journalists are all based on actual reporters who were Chicago colleagues of authors Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, with most working alongside them at the courthouse. The real names were only slightly changed: Hildy Johnson was based on the real-life reporter Hildebrand Johnson, Walter Burns was based on the editor Walter Howey, and Mac McCue was based on reporter Buddy McHugh.
Continuing a practice common to the silent era, the film was shot with three cameras at the same time. This created three different negatives. The best negative was used for the US version. The second best was used for the UK version. And the final negative was used for the general international version. Additionally, some scenes were re-shot with different dialogue for the international markets.
After the film fell into public domain, all the distributed prints were made from the lower quality international negative. The preferred US negative fell into obscurity. In 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences premiered a newly restored copy of the original US negative, which had not seen general distribution for several decades. The picture and sound quality of this restored print is far superior to most previously available versions of the film.
Look closely on the walls of the newspaper room and you'll see topless photographs of female models. Before the Production Code kicked in a few years later, films were able to get away with casual nudity like this.
This is an interesting film to view in the so-called era of "fake news" as many of the reporters are clearly making up stories as they go along. Both Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur had been journalists so one can only assume that there is an element of truth to this depiction of reporters.
Pat O'Brien had played Hildy Johnson in a stock company production of the play. He later titled his autobiography "Thank You Alexander Graham Bell" in reference to how excited he was to receive a phone call from producer Howard Hughes offering him the part.