This was, perhaps, the only box office disaster in the history of Hollywood to have received so many Oscar nominations (10), to have won as many Oscars as it did (5), and to have received so much critical acclaim.
The film, a pet project and labor of love for producer Darryl F. Zanuck, was a notorious box-office flop in its day, despite good reviews and several Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor, and despite the fact that when it played the Roxy in New York, it grossed more than any one movie had in a single theatre up to then. Zanuck was so heartbroken over the movie's failure that he forbade anyone who came into his presence to ever mention the film again.
Darryl F. Zanuck was so proud of the film that he ordered that the world premiere be held in Wahoo, Nebraska, Zanuck's own home town - presumably so that Zanuck could show off his pet project to the local citizens. The plan backfired; nobody in Wahoo was really interested in Woodrow Wilson, and attendance at the film's showings was extremely poor.
Character actor Dwight Frye was originally going to play Secretary of State Newton D. Baker, however he passed away following a heart attack three days before filming was supposed to begin. Afterwords, the character was written out of the script.
The film cost a then gargantuan $5 million to produce, an insane amount of money to spend on such a box office risk. (It actually cost more than Gone with the Wind (1939).) Consequently, it was known in the trade as "Zanuck's Folly".