Burt Lancaster' blamed Ernest Lehman's withdrawal due to illness for the film's box-office failure. At the after party for the premiere, Lancaster threatened to beat Lehman up. The witty scribe replied, "Go ahead, I need the money."
After Ernest Borgnine tried to break his contract with Burt Lancaster's production company, Burt Lancaster tried to force him to appear in this film in a supporting role, but Borgnine refused to do so.
At the Turner Classic Movies 2010 Classic Film Festival, screenwriter and actor Buck Henry revealed that he was an extra in the scene when Tony Curtis gets his hand caught in the door. Unfortunately, said Henry, he ended up on the cutting room floor.
After writer 'Ernest Lehman' (Qv) withdrew from the project because of a stomach problem, much to the chagrin of producer/star Lancaster, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster hired Clifford Odets for rewrites. The noteworthy writer reconstructed every scene. As soon as he had finished writing a scene in his hotel room, it was rushed to the location for Alexander Mackendrick to shoot. According to Burt Lancaster biographer Gary Fishgall, pages were distributed to the crew after they had been shot.
In the first few minutes of the film, Tony Curtis grabs a newspaper, and steps into a snack bar. The clerk working behind the counter is played by John Fiedler (uncredited). Fiedler went to several roles in film and on Broadway. He played Vinnie, one of Oscar and Felix's poker playing buddies in the Odd Couple (film). And Fiedler also had some voice roles. He voiced Winnie the Pooh, in several Disney films.
In 2000, on their self-titled album, rock band Kitty Kat Stew released a song called "Cookie Full Of Arsenic". The song's lyrics relate to the movie and incorporates a snippet of its actual dialogue, featuring the famous line.