Sally Field pulled-out of doing this movie so she could appear in Back Roads (1981). According to the 1st December 1981 edition of 'The Los Angeles Times' newspaper, Field was attached temporarily to the movie but withdrew from the picture.
The meaning and relevance of this film's Raggedy Man (1981) title is that a "raggedy man" can be defined as a "a scuzzy rag-picker", a description that in the film applies to the character Bailey played by Sam Shepard.
Principal photography on this picture was delayed from July 1980 until 20th October 1980 due to the 1980 SAG Actors' Strike and Emmy Awards Boycott, which included the AMF and AFTRA, which ran from July 1980 until 25th October that year.
Actress Talia Shire, director Hal Harrison, and producer Dan Greer, were all earlier once attached to the production of this picture, according to the 5th July 1977 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety', but in the end, none of them worked on the picture.
According to a blog written by Kenneth L. Anthony and published on 6th December 2010 at the Amazon website, this picture is "not exactly the same as the story in the finished movie. The movie with Sissy Spacek was not quite 'made from the novel' ['Raggedy Man' (1979)]. Rather the novel was created from an early version of the script about a year and half before filming began, and the script was polished and developed further before the cameras rolled."
The film's closing credits give special thanks to the Texas Film Commission; the People of Maxwell, Texas; Dan Kolsrud; Joe K. Longley; the Confederate Air Force, and Third Coast Studios, for their assistance in the making of this motion picture.
Cinematographer Ralf D. Bode lensed the film with the then latest Panavision camera, which was nick-named "The Panavision Gold", utilizing both ultra-speed and super-speed lenses, which could accommodating shooting the picture with lower levels of light.
The film's home video sleeve notes declared: "Oscar winner Sissy Spacek stars in Raggedy Man (1981), her first film since being named Best Actress for her performance in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)." Both movies were made by the Universal Pictures studio.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The Raggedy Man character, who throughout most of the film had appeared to be a dark mysterious character, at the end of the movie becomes the saving grace and guardian angel of the central female character.