When Claudette was offered the role in Three Came Home, she signed on , even though she knew it would be a grueling shoot and that she would be the object of violence, which, to be effective, had to be done realistically. However, she did not think she would end up with a broken back.
Agnes is trying to take her clothes off the line during a rainstorm when a guard attacks her. Rather than portray it as the rape it was, Johnson made it clear that it was an abortive rape, and director Jean Negulesco shot the scene accordingly. Agnes, who earlier had to crawl under the barbed wire to enjoy a few fleeting moments with her husband, is now subjected to more roughhouse than she had ever experienced before, including being thrown on the ground and then against the steps of the women’s quarters.
When Agnes makes the mistake of lodging a complaint, she is expected to sign a confession stating, in effect, that she fabricated the charge (which could mean death). When she refuses, one of the soldiers turns his back and looks out the window, as if he does not want to see what will happen. As Agnes is seated on a chair, another guard comes behind her and twists her arm behind her back. When she still refuses, she is thrown on the floor, on her back, and kicked in the ribs. At the time, Claudette did not know that she had broken her back, although anyone looking closely at the sequence would not have been surprised.