Director Robert Aldrich earned so much money off the back of his film The Dirty Dozen (1967) that he was able to buy his own film studio and make the kind of films he wanted to make. Unfortunately the first three that he made independently (The Killing of Sister George (1968), The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968), and Too Late the Hero (1970)) were all box-office flops. When this movie also crashed and burned at the box-office in 1971, Aldrich was forced to sell his studio and go back to being a director for hire.
One of the key props in the film is a diamond necklace. Because of Robert Aldrich's insistence on accuracy, this was a real diamond necklace, that came complete with a special female courier, disguised as a secretary, and with an escort of guards on the set. Special arrangements were made with the local bank and Sheriff's Department in the location of Placerville, California, while the necklace itself was transported by a motorcade of vehicles.
The original novel by James Hadley Chase was a huge best-seller in the UK during World War II, being particularly popular with serving members of the armed forces. Although it is set wholly in the United States and has only American characters, its author was British and had never been to America at the time the book was published.
The film was a particular dislike of UK BBFC censor John Trevelyan, who extensively cut the 1971 cinema release for an "X" certificate (the BBFC website incorrectly lists it as passing without cuts). The 2001 Fremantle DVD release is 15-rated and fully uncut.
The film features a kidnapper falling in love with his hostage. This is the reverse of the more common "Stockholm Syndrome" where an abductee feels empathy towards her abductor. The name of this scenario has been labelled "Lima Syndrome". This condition was not named until about twenty-five years after this movie came out, when after a large abduction occurred in 1996. All of the hostages were let go due to sympathy towards them by their captors.
The name of the popular jazz song that bookended the film was "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby", which had been first performed in 1928, and had music and lyrics by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields respectively.
This movie was released twenty-three years after the first version of the film's source novel, No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948), which had been filmed under the book title. That was the first filmed adaptation of a written work by James Hadley Chase. Neither film version used Chase's original ending.