The movie was adapted by Charles Brackett, D.M. Marshman Jr and Billy Wilder from the Brackett and Wilder story A Can of Beans. It was directed by Wilder.
It won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (William Holden), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Erich von Stroheim), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Gloria Swanson), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Nancy Olson), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Picture. The film has also been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.