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The movie was based on Donn Pearce’s novel by the same name. Donn Pearce was sentenced by the Florida Department of Corrections for burglary when he was 20. He was told at that time about a man, Luke Jackson. In the story, Luke Jackson was an outstanding poker and banjo player and apparently ate 50 eggs one day, for a bet. The movie rights of the novel were sold for $80,000 by Pearce and the rest is history.