David Niven reports in his autobiography that the film was shown for many years for training at Sandhurst (the British Army's officer training school).
According to the book 'A History of the Cinema from its origins to 1970' by Eric Rhode, "Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov were commissioned to write a script that would encourage enlistment in the infantry and were obliged to show . . . skepticism give way to admiration."
Apparently, Wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill asked star David Niven about the possibility of making a film which would pay homage to the British Army the way In Which We Serve had paid homage to the British Navy. Niven then contacted director Carol Reed with the proposal of expanding their earlier training film, The New Lot.
At the time the movie was made, David Niven, who plays a lieutenant, was actually a British Army major serving on operations in WWII.
First cinema film of Renée Asherson.
First film screen debut of English actor Trevor Howard in an uncredited role as an Officer on a Ship.
In the United Kingdom, this movie was released on the famous World War II date of D-Day i.e. the 6th of June, 1944.
In the United States of America, this film was edited down and shortened and re-titled as "The Immortal Battalion", while an edited shorter version was also made for American television.
The book 'The Film Business - A history of british cinema 1896-1972' by Ernest Betts states this film " . . . was originally made as a War Office instructional film under the title 'The New Lot', but was later developed into a full-length commercial feature at the suggestion of Filippo Del Giudice."
The film was still used for officer training in Australia as recently as 1983.
This film stars David Niven who himself was a Major in the British Army.
This film's opening prologue is a quote of the definition of the word Army from 'Enyclopedia Brittanica'. It states: "AN ARMY - A considerable body of men, armed, organised and disciplined, to act together for purposes of warfare."
This film's writers Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov and director Carol Reed all previously worked together and made the training film, The New Lot. The following actors John Laurie, Raymond Huntley and Peter Ustinov appeared in both The New Lot and this movie.
This movie is an expanded remake of the Army Kinematograph Service film The New Lot.
This started life as an Army training and instructional film, "The New Lot," written by Peter Ustinov and Eric Ambler and starring some of the cast that finished up in "The Way Ahead" (Niven came in later). The training film had upset some Army top brass with its frankness and was suppressed. It has recently re-emerged thanks to a copy found in an archive.