powered by AFI
The working titles of the film were Jacobowsky and the Colonel and Best of Enemies. Onscreen credits include the following written acknowledgment: "The Rolls-Royce owned by Mr. George Power was used by arrangement with the Montagu Motor Museum." According to a May 1944 Los Angeles Examiner news item, Columbia vied with Warner Bros. for the film rights to Franz Werfel's play. In July 1956, a Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Gottfried Reinhardt was to produce and direct the film. An October 1957 Daily Variety news item adds that Leslie Caron was considered for the female lead, and that the film was to be shot in England. Although a January 1958 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that nightclub impressionist Billy Batchelor was to play the role of a Frenchman, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
As noted in Hollywood Reporter production charts, location filming was done in France in December 1957, after which the production moved to the Columbia Studio in Los Angeles. Studio publicity materials in the film's production file at AMPAS note that five days of location shooting took place in Lyons, France. Some critics disapproved of the marriage of anti-Semitism and comedy featured in the film. In an August 1958 New York Times article, film critic Bosley Crowther asked "What's amusing about watching a patient Jew in a desperate and outrageously insensate negotiation for his life with a fool?"