Cary Grant expressed concerns that, at age 53, he was too old to convincingly play a U. S. Navy flier. Producer Jerry Wald encouraged Grant to take the part because his charisma and popularity with the American public far outweighed concerns about his age.
The aircraft carrier seen at the end of the film is the USS Boxer (CV 21). It wasn't commissioned until 16 April 1945 so it never saw service in World War II, but did see extensive service in the Korean War.
The fake response Cary Grant gives in the interview is from critic Walter Pater's "The Renaissance": "To burn always with this hard gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life".
The film's plot was partially based on Frederick Wakeman's novel, "Shore Leave." The book, influenced by Wakeman's own experiences in the U. S. Navy was a satirical critique of war contracts.
This marks the first of four film collaborations between actor Cary Grant and director Stanley Donen. The subsequent films were Indiscreet (1958), The Grass Is Greener (1960), and Charade (1963).
Cary Grant specifically asked that Stanley Donen be hired on to direct the film. Grant had never met or spoken to Donen prior to their collaboration on this film, but he had been extremely impressed by Donen's work on films such as Royal Wedding (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). Grant expressed that Donen's light and comedic touch on those films fit the tone of the screenplay for Kiss Them for Me (1957).
Director Stanley Donen had no say in casting decisions and did not like the script for the film. He reportedly agreed to stay attached to the film because "you don't turn down Cary Grant."