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Charlton Heston improvised during the argument scene between Eleanor Parker and himself. It was not scripted that he splash perfume all over her. This move intensified the action and a surprised Parker was able to react accordingly.
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The scenes where the bridges were dynamited was filmed in Florahome, Florida. A local resident died when he was thrown from his horse, which had been spooked during the explosion.
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While preparing to shoot the sequence where Leiningen pours oil on himself to repel the ants, Charlton Heston was told that oil would ruin his wardrobe so syrup would be used instead. Heston spent a miserable day on location as the "oil" attracted every insect for miles.
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William Conrad, who plays the commissioner in this movie, played the lead role of Leiningen four times in radio adaptations of the original Carl Stephenson story: three times in 1948 on the radio program "Escape" and once in 1957 on the radio program "Suspense".
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A remake was once in development in 2004 with Jonathan Hensleigh hired to write and direct the project but according to Hensleigh himself, once the regime change happened at Paramount, there was no longer any interest in making the film and has been since abandoned.
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Stock footage of this movie was used in MacGyver: Trumbo's World (1985), in which MacGyver and a plantation owner fight an army of ants.
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When Leiningen is showing Joanna around his plantation (about 33 minutes into the film), there is singing, presumably by native workers. They are singing in remarkably good English, and the most discernible lyric is, "We are the Polee." The singing is not closed captioned, so spelling and additional lyrics are unknown.
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"The Lux Radio Theatre" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 7, 1954 with Charlton Heston reprising his film role.
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Abraham Sofaer played a similar character in Elephant Walk, which was to elephants what this is to ants: A rich plantation owner has to ward off nature to keep his plantation, and Sofaer plays that man's most trusted servant, who also keeps a tight eye on his young trophy wife around the large mansion.
This kind of Creature Feature is more of a melodrama where the "creatures" invade upon the characters that have had their story set up, making the "invasion" that much more surprising to the characters, and making breaking up the film into two parts within the three acts.
Villainous plantation owner John Dierkes appeared with Charlton Heston years later in The Omega Man.
Despite this film being marketed as a movie about killer ants, the first 2 acts of this film have nothing to do with the ants. In fact the ants are not even mentioned until 50 minutes into the movie and do not appear until the one hour mark. The film's entire running time is only 1h 35m.
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