- The scene where Hecky Brown commits suicide is based on the real suicide of blacklisted actor Philip Loeb. This information is revealed the documentary Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009).
- This is the last on-screen film project for Zero Mostel.
- Several people involved in this film were themselves on the McCarthy-era blacklists that it is about: director Martin Ritt; writer Walter Bernstein; and actors Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi, Lloyd Gough and Joshua Shelley.
- The writers in the deli, according to screenwriter Walter Bernstein, were a composite of himself, Abraham Polonsky, and Arnold Manoff. All 3 writers were blacklisted by Hollywood as a result of the HUAC hearings, and all 3 co-wrote the segments for the 50's TV series You Are There.