After the film had already been shot and edited, UFA decided it disliked Hans Kyser's script. Over Kyser's objections, it asked German writer Gerhart Hauptmann to work on it. However, the studio decided that it disliked Hauptmann's script even more. The film was released in Kyser's original version.
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film.
Ebert says: "William Dieterle, who plays Gretchen's brother Valentin, fled Hitler, came to Hollywood and had a long career as a director, distinguished by 'The Devil and Daniel Webster' (1941), itself a version of the Faust legend."