The Central American locale was re-created on Warner's thirty- acre annex. The set covered a five acre tract, and 950 Banana trees were planted to make it more authentic. The story in Cagney's opinion was just a reworking of the MacArthur play A front page, so he grew a mustache to make his character more interesting. Producer Mark Hellinger complained to Cagney that the Warner's brass thought the mustache took away some of his toughness.
"If you can forget the European situation completely for an hour and a half, go see Torrid Zone Jimmy Cagney's new picture. It's accelerated pace, tough performance and rough humor are a combined guarantee against boredom".
NY Daily News