During first-run engagements of this film, selected movie houses around the country projected the film's opening sequence--a recreation of a production number from the play, "The Pink Lady"--in wide screen to emphasize the larger-than-life quality of Ruth Gordon's fascination with the stage.
Debbie Reynolds was MGM and George Cukor's first choice to play Ruth Gordon. After some time, Cukor began to have doubts about her. He thought that although she had the right qualities for the part, she was lacking in other areas. He especially didn't like that she wasn't familiar with Shakespeare. He didn't think her test was all that good and cast Jean Arthur instead.
According to a December 2, 1953 Variety news item, the FBI was called in when the manager of a Columbus, OH movie theater received threatening letters demanding that the film no longer be shown. The author of the letters called the film "obscene and disgusting," complaining specifically about the scene in which Spencer Tracy's pants fall down during a gymnastics routine. The outcome of the investigation is not known.
On a January 1, 1980 Dick Cavett interview, Anthony Perkins revealed that he had played this role in summer stock in Delaware. He got himself to Hollywood and tried to get a screen test for the role, on the basis that he had played it. The studio rejected him, but he used to hang around, and when they needed someone to feed lines to an actress they were testing, they tapped him. George Cukor, who was filming the tests, asked Perkins, who was facing away from the camera, to move to the side, so the camera had an unimpeded view of the actress being tested. Perkins pretended not to understand and swung his head around, so the camera would capture his face full on, and when the producers were watching the tests later, they decided against hiring the actress, but gave Perkins the role he had played in stock.
Several cast members in studio records/casting call lists for this movie were not seen in the final print. These were (with their character names): Keith Hitchcock (Comedian), Mitchell Lewis (Stage Doorman), Matt Moore (Waiter), Walter Reed and (John Craig).