In a 2001 interview with CNN's 'Larry King (i)', Mariel Hemingway (who was only 15 when the movie was released) said she didn't realize that her character and her sister's character were raped until she saw the finished film.
The building used that was under construction was the Pacific Design Center/ Center Blue, a decorating and furniture mart opened to the trade in 1975 in West Hollywood, CA. Center Blue is commonly known as "The Blue Whale."
The original cinema and video version was cut by 2 minutes 54 secs by the BBFC to heavily edit scenes of assault and shots of knife threatening from the rape scene. When the film was first shown on ITV the entire rape sequence was presented as a series of stills.
Intended to launch a film career for supermodel Margaux Hemingway, the film did the exact reverse, with Hemingway attracting the brunt of some vicious critical attacks. She only made two more films over the next seven years, gained a lot of weight so the modeling dried up and became heavily involved with substance abuse. She was found dead in her apartment at the age of 41, her death being ruled as suicide. Younger sister Mariel Hemingway has always maintained that she was not suicidal and attributes her death to drugs.
The film attracted a lot of controversy at the time of release due to the graphic nature of the rape scene. Rapes had been depicted onscreen before now (Hope Lange's violation in Death Wish (1974) being a notable example) but they had rarely been shown in such detail and at such length. Lamont Johnson intended with the rape scene to almost make the audience feel that they were being subjected to the ordeal themselves. Unfortunately, many groups - mainly feminist ones - felt that he was merely exploiting the situation and his lead actress.
Dino De Laurentiis got the idea of turning Margaux Hemingway into a star after seeing her face on the cover of Time magazine. At the time, Hemingway was one of the most in-demand models in the world, and the first to command a $1 million fee.