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The working title of this film was Border Patrol. Hollywood Reporter news items in November and December 1948 indicate that this film was originally to be produced by Aubrey Schenck and William Katzell for Eagle-Lion Films, and that production on the Eagle-Lion film was set to begin in late October 1948 at the United States-Mexican border. In November 1948, according to Hollywood Reporter, M-G-M paid Eagle-Lion $100,000 for the completed screenplay and the services of director Anthony Mann. A December 1948 New York Times news item put the amount paid by M-G-M for the screenplay at $50,000, and noted that it was originally entitled Wetbacks. According to a November 1948 V news item, Eagle-Lion sold the story to M-G-M because the projected $650,000 budget was too expensive for the independent studio. Border Incident marked the screen debut of Italian opera singer Teresa Celli. Actress and dancer Lita Barron was formerly known as Isabelita. Border Incident was the first film on which she used her new name. According to the New York Times news item, the picture was filmed in the border region of Mexico and California. Studio publicity materials indicate that some filming took place in the border towns of Mexicali, Mexico, and in Calexico and El Centro, CA.