During production, a Boston resident was paid to remove the air conditioner from his window so they could film on that particular street for a shot. The next day when they arrived to continue filming, every window on the street had an air conditioner.
In August 1978, fifteen unedited reels of the film were stolen at gunpoint from a Boston studio in a bizarre movie heist ironic to the film's heist plot. However, the stolen film was mostly outtakes and dailies that could be easily replaced. The positive prints of negatives of the film's footage were actually held by Technicolor in New York City. The robbers demanded a US $600,000 ransom. The money was never paid and the film completed without the missing footage and without any detrimental delays. When the robbers called to demand their ransom, director William Friedkin told them, "Get a projector and enjoy the film. It's all yours!".
The Brink's of the film's title and the place where the robbery takes place is an abbreviated short form of Brinks Incorporated. The final credits declare that Brink's is a registered trademark of Brinks Incorporated. The end credits give special thanks to Brink's Incorporated for their co-operation in making this movie and state that "Since 1859 nobody has ever lost a penny entrusting their valuables to Brink's".
The march that's used as a theme for the FBI is from Sergei Prokofiev's 1919 opera "The Love for Three Oranges". It had previously been used as the theme of the radio show "The FBI in Peace and War", which aired on CBS from 1944 to 1958.
This film was made and released about two years after its source non-fiction novel "Big Stick-Up at Brink's!" by author Noel Behn was first published in 1977. Behn interviewed five of the actual Brink's Job robbers and his publisher maintained that almost one thousand hours of interviews were recorded on audio tape.
Actually, there were three more movies made about the great Brink's robbery, which occur ed in Boston, back in 1950 : Six Bridges To Cross - 1955 - Blueprint For a Robbery - 1959 - and Brink's the Great Robbery, for TV - 1976.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The real life Brink's Job was almost a complete success with the robbers only needing eleven more days until the statute of limitations ran out on the case. However, on 5th January 1956, robber Specs O'Keefe revealed all to the F.B.I in in the Hampden County Jail six years after the heist.
The film's closing epilogue states: "After serving fourteen years in prison, the men who robbed Brink's were paroled and returned to live comfortable lives in Boston. To this day, despite continuing efforts by the F.B.I., less than $50,000 of the stolen money has been recovered."