The original ending had Seymour Flint drowning in an attempt to save Grace's life when she walks into the ocean. After a negative reaction from a preview audience, the ending was changed to a happier one.
'The Film Experience' website states that "during the filming of 'Grace Quigley', Kate [Katharine Hepburn] crashed her car into a tree. She fractured her ankle, and was effectively hobbled for a few months".
The movie was contentious to many critics and audiences upon its original theatrical release because of its black comedy humorous light-hearted treatment of the serious and controversial subject matter of voluntary euthanasia of aged and elderly people.
Some video copies of the movie give the title as being "The Ultimate Solution of Grace Quigley" on the video slick or container cover but at the head of the film when it is played give the film's title in its shorter form as just "Grace Quigley".
In 2006, around twenty-two years after the picture had premiered in 1984, the film at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival, won a Best Screenplay Award for its screenwriter A. Martin Zweiback, for his "Writer's Cut" of the movie.
First film in around three years of veteran actress Katharine Hepburn, whose last picture had been On Golden Pond (1981), for which she had won the Best Actress Academy Award, the gold statuette having being her fourth and final Oscar win.
According to 'The Parallax Review', as "per an article in the Fall 1986 issue of 'Sightlines', the oft-repeated legend goes like this: Zweiback [A. Martin Zweiback] tossed a 25-page treatment over George Cukor's garden gate in 1972. As it happened, Katharine Hepburn was there, recuperating from surgery. The treatment was given to her, and she fell in love. With Hepburn attached, and Steve McQueen interested (thanks to Hepburn's enthusiasm), and the similarly irreverent (but vastly inferior) Harold and Maude (1971) released a year earlier, it seemed like a lock for a greenlight. But nothing in Hollywood is ever that easy. In 1979, Columbia agreed to finance the picture with Nick Nolte in the role Hepburn wanted for McQueen. Zweiback was to direct. Nolte backed out, and by the time he returned in 1983, Columbia had backed out. That's where Cannon Films came into the picture. They put up the money, but yet another thing had changed - Anthony Harvey, director of The Lion in Winter (1968) (for which Hepburn won her third Oscar), had been seriously injured in a car accident. Hepburn promised that Harvey would direct her next film - which, as circumstances would have it, turned out to be 'Grace Quigley'. Zweiback graciously stepped aside, on the condition that he and his wife would be credited as executive producers and allowed on set. But Harvey didn't want what he likely perceived as Monday-morning quarterbacking on what had become "his" film. He threatened to quit if he ever saw the Zweibacks in New York, where the film was to be shot. The Zweibacks didn't have any involvement until the film's premiere at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, where it received unanimous negative reviews".
Star Steve McQueen was originally considered for the lead male part of the hitman Seymour Flint when the picture was first in development during the early 1970s. The role in the end was cast with actor Nick Nolte. Upon wide release in the USA during May 1985, the New York Times stated that "Miss Hepburn reportedly wanted Steve McQueen to play [the hitman character] some years ago". McQueen had passed away in 1980 prior to this picture finally being made and released during the early-mid 1980s.
The usual regular fee for a "hit" or a "rub" by hitman Seymour Flint (Nick Nolte was between US $5-20 thousand dollars. The cost quote he gave Grace Quigley (Katharine Hepburn) to bump her off or any of her associates was US $1-2 thousand dollars.