Claudette Colbert originally turned down the chance to play the lead as she didn't like the idea of playing mother to two teenage daughters. Enlisting the help of gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper, David O. Selznick was able to finally convince her to take on the part.
The photos of Anne's husband Tim, seen frequently in the Hilton home, are of Neil Hamilton. Having just left for the war as the movie starts and heading home as the movie ends, the often-referred-to Tim never actually appears in the movie.
Within the film Joseph Cotton presents Jennifer Jones with a Hummel-like statue of a boy with a toothache, officially titled 'Dentist Dodger.' The piece was commissioned for the film and created by Viennese-born sculptor Josef Josephu. Josephu was part of Dubler Figurines, making Hummel-like statues during World War Two when there was a ban of the real Hummels (German made).
Claudette Colbert originally resisted taking the role of a fortyish mother of a teenager. However, Selznick's insistence that the film would help Wartime morale and a salary of $150,000 convinced the actress to do it.
The opening sequence was re-shot. Originally it featured a male dog (whose genitalia photographed far too prominently). The shot was redone using a female dog. David O. Selznick's personal print, however, contains the original "naughty" version.
One of David O. Selznick's staff members told the producer about Margaret Buell Wilder's novel; he was immediately taken with it. However, Selznick really wanted to make an epic-sized movie, so he had to do a complete overhaul of the book to suit those ends. He was particularly interested in the character of the older daughter, Jane, knowing that it would make a great part for Jennifer Jones.
Selznick originally filmed a fifteen page speech about the war effort with Fred Stone. Unhappy with the footage, he scrapped it and paid Charles Coburn $10,000 to redo it. Still unhappy with the result, Selznick scrapped the sequence.
Surrealist painter Salvador Dali worked on a deleted dream sequence with art director William L. Pereira and director Andre de Toth. According to de Toth the sequence "stuck out like a sore thumb and Seznick was right to delete it." Dali designed a more successful dream sequence for Selznick in "Spellbound" the following year. De Toth also claims that nine or ten directors worked on the picture at different times.