One Minute To Zero - Production


The film's working title was The Korean Story. Ted Tetzlaff was the first director assigned by RKO. He was replaced, however, by Tay Garnett because producer Edmund Grainger, (famed for Sands of Iwo Jima and Flying Leathernecks) wanted a "bigger" name as director.

The original actress chosen as leading lady was Claudette Colbert. She became ill with pneumonia, however, and although Grainger wanted Joan Crawford, the role had been rewritten for a younger person. Eventually, Ann Blyth became the replacement.

Although RKO attempted to shoot second unit footage in South Korea,One Minute to Zero was filmed at Fort Carson, Colorado, using troops of the 148th Field Artillery. During a break, Mitchum, Egan, McGraw and other cast members showed up at a local hotel bar frequented by the soldiers in the nearby base. McGraw got into an argument with an army private escalating from a shoving match to a fistfight when Mitchum tried to break it up. The soldier ended up being stretchered out but news of the altercation resulted in Hughes having to intervene when U.S. Army officials threatened to pull their support for the film.

Howard Hughes, the owner of RKO, had received massive U.S. military cooperation in the making this film. Nonetheless, he refused to delete the refugee massacre scene when requested to do so by the U.S. Army.

Victor Young's score for the film includes the first appearance of "When I Fall In Love." It is performed as an instrumental piece by its lyricist, Edward Heyman. The song, performed here by Doris Day, went on to become a popular hit song recorded by a variety of artists.

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