John Houseman had already distinguished himself as a writer (JANE EYRE), a producer (EXECUTIVE SUITE, THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) and the story editor of CITIZEN KANE before winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this, his second role. Bottoms is a Minnesota-bred law student who
comes to Harvard and the lecture hall of Houseman, an instructor who seemingly takes great pleasure in puncturing his students' egos. Bottoms falls in love with Wagner. Essentially, this is a military school plot with a change of venue. Bridges secured an Oscar nomination for his adaptation of the
novel, and the film was also nominated for Best Sound.