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Payment on Demand

Payment on Demand(1951)

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The working title of this film was Story of a Divorce. The picture marked Bette Davis' first free-lance appearance after being a contract star at Warner Bros. for eighteen years. Gwenaud Productions, which co-produced the picture with RKO, was owned by Bruce Manning and Jack H. Skirball. According to a January 5, 1950 Daily Variety news item, Robert Young was first slated to co-star with Davis in the picture. In late January 1950, Hollywood Reporter announced that RKO was arranging to borrow Wendell Corey from Hal Wallis' company for the male lead. RKO borrowed Barry Sullivan from M-G-M, Betty Lynn from Twentieth Century-Fox and Peggie Castle from Universal for the production. Davis' three-year-old daughter, Barbara Davis Sherry, made her screen debut in the film, appearing as Davis' fictional daughter "Diana."
       Payment on Demand marked the final screen appearance of actress Jane Cowl, who died on June 22, 1950. It also marked the return of actress Frances Dee, who had been absent from the screen for three years. Her previous film was the 1948 United Artists release Four Faces West (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). Night location shooting took place at Los Angeles International Airport in Inglewood, CA, according to a mid-March 1950 Hollywood Reporter news item. According to the Time review, just prior to the film's release, producers Manning and Skirball, uncertain whether to conclude the story with a reconciliation scene, tested four different endings with preview audiences. On September 3, 1951, Davis and Sullivan reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the story.