Publicity for this 1977 picture stated that it was the first film adaptation of an Ernest Hemingway work brought to the screen in two decades. However, this assertion overlooked Hemingway's The Killers (1964) from 1964. The film of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (1958) had debuted in 1958 around nineteen years earlier.
Second of two cinema movie collaborations of actor George C. Scott and director Franklin J. Schaffner. The first had been Patton (1970) around seven years earlier in 1970. That movie won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and scoring Oscars for both Scott and Schaffner. Ironically, Patton (1970) debuted in the same 1970 year that the Ernest Hemingway novel "Islands in the Stream" was first published.
Some movie posters for the film featured a long text preamble that read: "HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU'VE SEEN A REALLY GOOD MOVIE? Since you really fell in love with a picture. Where you felt a movie instead of just seeing one. Since you forgot you were in a theatre and thought you were in someone else's life. When you lost yourself in a story. Since you saw a movie that said something about life and love that you will take with you in your heart and mind long after the evening's over. How long has it been since you've seen a really good movie? If it's been too long then see 'Islands In The Stream'."
The name of the island in the Bahamas was "Bimini". Showbusiness trade paper Variety said that "Hawaiian locations provide a superb physical backdrop (simulating The Bahamas, circa 1940) for the production".