Fourteen-year-old Daniel Day-Lewis made his screen debut in this film, as a teenage street vandal. He described his first acting experience, in which he was paid £2 to vandalize expensive cars parked outside his local church in Petersfield, Hampshire, as "heaven."
In John Eastman's 1989 book 'Retakes: Behind the Scenes of 500 Classic Movies', it says that Peter Finch and Murray Head were the only people on the set who were not disturbed when it came time for them to do the kissing scene. Finch has been quoted as saying, "I did it for England."
Several actresses (including Edith Evans and Thora Hird) politely refused the part of Glenda Jackson's mother, Mrs. Greville, because they thought the project was too risqué. Peggy Ashcroft accepted after the director explained to her the elements of the story and she gladly signed on.
Ian Bannen was fired from the role of Daniel Hirsh shortly after filming began. Apparently, he was so nervous about what kissing another actor on screen might do to his career, he could not concentrate enough to even get going with the part. He later said that losing the role set back his career.
A number of scenes that had been filmed with Ian Bannen were not re-shot. Some performers listed on cast breakdown (kept by BFI special Collections) were not rehired to film their roles with Peter Finch.