On its original release, the film had an all instrumental soundtrack, by Sonny Rollins. The Oscar nominated song, by Bacharach and David, was added for the American release, and to a British re-release. For the UK release, the song was sung by Cilla Black over the end credits, which went to #9 on the British charts. For the US release, the song was originally to be sung by Dionne Warwick over the end credits, but was replaced at the last minute by the version sung by Cher. Ironically, Warwick's version outperformed Cher's on the Billboard charts.
A rarity in film, Michael Caine's character sporadically engages the cinema audience by looking straight into the camera as he voices his thoughts, a technique called "breaking the fourth wall". Curiously enough, the film's director Lewis Gilbert went on to direct Pauline Collins as the titular Shirley Valentine (1989) in which she also spoke her thoughts directly to the viewer.