Jodie Foster later said that with this movie began the lowest point of her career, as she turned down worthy roles in Splash (1984), The Terminator (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985). Her career wouldn't recover until Kim Basinger turned down the role of Sarah Tobias in The Accused (1988) and finally the part once assigned to Basinger was won by Foster, for which she won her first Academy Award.
Early in preproduction, the rock band Queen was asked to record some songs for the movie. They completed at least one song for the soundtrack, "Keep Passing The Open Windows", but the collaboration fell through. The finished film saw no Queen contribution, but that same year their album "The Works" (1984) did feature this song.
While doing press in 1982 in London promoting Taps (1981), actor Timothy Hutton told the interviewer that his next film would be a comedy: "The Hotel New Hampshire". Hutton, however, does not appear in The Hotel New Hampshire (1984).
This film was made and released about three years after the novel of the same name, by John Irving, which was first published in 1981. This picture was the second filmed adaptation of an Irving book, after The World According to Garp (1982), released just two years earlier.
Final feature film directed by Tony Richardson, who died in 1991, to be released during his lifetime. After this film, Blue Sky (1994) was released three years after Richardson's death. There were also four television movies released before his death.
The film was not as financially successful as another adaptation of a John Irving novel, The World According to Garp (1982). It was much more successful in Europe, however, which Irving attributed to the fact that "The Hotel New Hampshire" was a more popular book there than "Garp."
The film was set to be shot in New Hampshire in the summer of 1982, using the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel (which had been shuttered the previous year) as its primary location. Only 5 days prior to the arrival of the pre-production crews, Tony Richardson and Neil Hartley informed the state's Film Bureau director and Hugh Gallen, the NH governor, that they had suddenly lost the film's financing (from the owner of Pizza Hut.) As both the state and the producers had committed months to location scouting and pre-production, it was a devastating blow to both. The film ultimately was shot in Canada the following year due to a favorable exchange rate allowing for a lower production budget. Fun fact: Author John Irving's younger brother was head of security at the Wentworth Hotel and assisted the producers on their location prep there.