Esmond Knight, who plays the one-eyed Father, did actually lose his eye in the war, during the battle to sink the Bismark. He served on the Prince of Wales, and later starred as the Captain of the Prince of Wales in the film Sink the Bismarck! (1960).
When Kenneth McEldowney, a successful florist and real estate agent in Los Angeles, complained to his wife, an MGM publicist, about one of her studio's films, she dared him to do better. So he sold their home and floral shops, and from 1947 to 1951 worked to produce this film. It opened in New York to a record 34-week run at reserved-seat prices and was on several ten-best movie lists in 1951. McEldowney then returned to real estate and never made another movie.