Final film as a both producer and director for Fred Zinnemann. The film was Zinnemann's first movie in five years, his last having been Julia (1977) in 1977. Zinnemann was aged seventy-four when the picture was shot in 1981.
Sean Connery once described this movie's location work as "the most audacious piece if filmmaking I've ever been involved in. It was film production at the point of pioneering". Connery once recounted the worst moment he experienced whilst making the picture. Connery had to make a three hundred meter walk alone down a glacier known to be laden with crevasses hidden by a fresh snowfall and without safety markers. The marker poles were present during rehearsals but were not there during the actual filming as they would be seen in the shot. Connery said, "Inches on either side of the path there were ninety foot caverns. I could hear the sound of ice moving underneath me and behind me in the peaks, shifting all the time. That's the loneliest walk I've ever taken".
Actor Sean Connery was known for playing James Bond. After Thunderball (1965) he quit the series (though he later returned at different stages to make two more). The next film in the series after Connery left was On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) which like this film, was shot in the Swiss Alps, and had a serious romantic storyline.