Based on the play "For Love or Money," which opened on Broadway on November 4, 1947 at Henry Miller's Theatre, where it ran for 263 performances.
The stage version made a star of June Lockhart in the role played by Debbie Reynolds on screen. A later tour of the play, put into place before the film version, also contributed to the rise of Grace Kelly. Neither Lockhart nor Kelly were considered for the film, as Reynolds had a virtual lock on roles of this sort by 1956.
In retrospect, the film's failure was attributed to the uneasy chemistry between Debbie Reynolds and Curt Jurgens, who was not known for his ability to play light comedy. While neither actor was entirely miscast, their very different approaches to the material resulted in a discordant tone for the film as a whole.
This film marked the end of Alexis Smith's period of Hollywood stardom. While she had accepted a secondary role in Here Comes the Groom (1951) in order to play comedy under director Frank Capra, this was the first time she was billed as a supporting player, which would carry over to the last film of this phase of her career, The Young Philadelphians (1959), in which she stole the film despite the fact that Barbara Rush was the nominal star. Following her resurgence as a much-lauded leading lady in Broadway's "Follies" (1971), her next big-budget film would be Once is Not Enough (1975), for which she received second billing in an all-star cast.
Troy Donahue appears in one of his pre-stardom bit roles as Tony Manza, an up-and-coming actor nipping at the heels of the story's much older leading man, Preston Mitchell (Curt Jurgens). Just one year later, Donahue would burst onto the Hollywood scene in A Summer Place (1959).
The following year, But Not For Me (1959) utilized nearly the exact same plot, with Clark Gable, Carroll Baker, Barry Coe and Lilli Palmer enacting the roles played here by Curt Jurgens, Debbie Reynolds, John Saxon and Alexis Smith. But Not For Me (1959) was based on the stage play "Accent on Youth," whereas this film was derived from the play "For Love or Money."
The role of Nita Holloway provided Alexis Smith with many of the brittle, acerbic traits that would later characterize her role as Phyllis in "Follies" on Broadway.
The film was released on VHS by Kartes Video in 1987 and has never been reissued on home video since. A pan-and-scan print could be found on American Movie Classics in the early 1990s, but a widescreen CinemaScope print has not been seen since the film's initial theatrical release.
The stage version is set in Port Washington, Long Island. The film version takes place in suburban Connecticut.
One of the film's running motifs is Curt Jurgens' lower back going out every time he attempts to assert himself in a masculine vein. In fact, though his temples were greyed for the role, Jurgens was only 43 years old at the time the film was made.