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Tim Hovey, who made his feature film debut in The Private War of Major Benson, is listed at the start of the closing credits with the line: "Thomas 'Tiger' Flaherty played by Tim Hovey." He is also listed after William Demarest in both the opening and closing credits. Hovey acquired his nickname while filming the 1956 Universal film Toy Tiger (see below). The closing credits end with the following written statement: "We acknowledge the cooperation of the faculty, staff and cadets of St. Catherine's Military School, and its commandant, C. A. Schmitt, Major, U.S.A., Ret."
A May 1955 New York Times article reports that Cary Grant was originally interested in playing "Major Bernard R. Barney Benson," but after the deal failed to materialize, Charlton Heston expressed interest in the role. Heston wanted Pine-Thomas Productions to buy the script, but instead, William Pine's son Howard bought it when he became a producer at Universal. Studio executives there remained skeptical about the story until Heston agreed to star. Although an April 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Louis Meltzer had been hired to write the script, only William Roberts and Richard Alan Simmons are credited onscreen as screenwriters. Meltzer's contribution to the completed film has not been determined. For their contribution to the film, story writers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher received an Academy Award nomination in the Writing (Motion Picture Story) category. According to a September 1954 Hollywood Reporter "Rambling Reporter" item, Thelma Ritter was considered for the role of "Mother Redempta."