In later years, some members of the Village People said they disliked the way the film distorted the formation of the group and toned down the influence of the gay male subculture. However, the film was not meant to be a biography of the group.
Despite the film's PG rating, there are flashes of male full-frontal nudity in the "YMCA' shower scenes, and Valerie Perrine' is briefly topless in the hot-tub shots. Some cuts of the film remove those scenes.
Nancy Walker's only theatrical feature film. Publicity for the theatrical release stated that Walker was the first woman to direct a multi-million dollar musical, and had been signed to a three-picture contract.
David Hodo was injured while filming "I Love You to Death". Hodo missed his footing on the scaffolding and fell to the studio floor. His helmet fell off during the fall, and he received twelve stitches to his head. Reportedly, he returned to the set for work the next day.
After the movie's theatrical release, Village People member David Hodo said "When I first read the script, I threw it across the room. I though it was a piece of crap. It read like one of those stupid old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney pictures. We didn't believe in the movie, but no one would listen to us! You can only go on for so long being a joke."
Producer Allan Carr once described this picture as "pure entertainment in the great MGM musical tradition". It was shot on two sound stages at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Culver City Studios in Los Angeles, where a number of classic MGM Musicals had been filmed.
The Village People consist of six members, each representing an identifiable character: a Native American, a construction worker, a police officer, a cowboy, a leather-clad biker, and a soldier. Member David Hodo has said that "Back in the '70s, the characters were chosen to depict stereotypical gay fantasies of the time". The 'Village' of the group's title refers to Greenwich Village.