According to Michael Powell's book, "Million Dollar Movie," the film's composer, Mikis Theodorakis, considered it shameful that a story about Cretan resistance fighters would be told by anyone other than Cretans. He told Powell and Pressberger that they were both political "interlopers" -- a label he also used in describing Patrick Leigh Fermor.
The General was never identified by his first name in the film. In the credits he is referred to as Maj. Gen. Kreipe. In real life he was Majorgeneral Heinrich Kreipe. Calling him Karl, as many sources do, seems to have been an invention of the Rank publicity department.
This was the last official film to be made by "The Archers", the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The film was made under very difficult conditions due to the interference of the Rank Organization, for whom they made it.However, they did collaborate again, with Pressburger writing the screenplay (under a pseudonym) for Powell's Australian film "They're A Weird Mob" and later for his 42-minute children's film, "The Boy Who Turned Yellow".
Major General Kreipe is at pains to correct the pronunciation of Captain W. Stanley Moss, M.C. when he identifies the search aircraft being used by their German pursuers as a Fiesler Storch Fi 156. The aircraft is in fact a post war french built, Morane-Saulnier MS.505 Criquet. Morane-Saulnier built the Storch for the German military during the war and under license for the Armée de l'air post war. The variant in the film is easily identifiable by its radial engine, all German variants used an Argus inline engine.
Although Michael Powell was not very pleased with this film, or with Dirk Bogarde's performance as Patrick Leigh-Fermor, the real Leigh-Fermor greatly enjoyed it, and especially for Bogarde's performance, which he described as "oneself, at the age of twenty-six"; Bogarde was almost ten years older than that, in fact.