Buster Keaton was originally considered for the lead, but the backers of the film refused to support the project with him as the star. John Mills was then cast but suffered a broken leg and the project was postponed until many years later in 1973.

After Keaton, John Mills and then Danny Kaye were considered for the central role before Peter Sellers expressed an interest in the project.

John Chaffey gave up acting, studied medicine and became a renowned osteopath.

Donna Mullane and John Chaffey both receive "introducing" credits

Director Anthony Simmons wrote the 1964 novel on which "The Optimists of Nine Elms" is based.