Jodie Foster later said that with this movie began the lowest point of her career, as she turned down worthy roles in Splash (1984), The Terminator (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985). Her career wouldn't recover until Kim Basinger turned down the role of Sarah Tobias in The Accused (1988) and finally the part once assigned to Basinger was won by Foster, for which she won her first Academy Award.
Early in preproduction, the rock band Queen was asked to record some songs for the movie. They completed at least one song for the soundtrack, "Keep Passing The Open Windows", but the collaboration fell through. The finished film saw no Queen contribution, but that same year their album "The Works" (1984) did feature this song.
This film was made and released about three years after the novel of the same name, by John Irving, which was first published in 1981. This picture was the second filmed adaptation of an Irving book, after The World According to Garp (1982), released just two years earlier.
Final feature film directed by Tony Richardson, who died in 1991, to be released during his lifetime. After this film, Blue Sky (1994) was released three years after Richardson's death. There were also four television movies released before his death.
The film was not as financially successful as another adaptation of a John Irving novel, The World According to Garp (1982). It was much more successful in Europe, however, which Irving attributed to the fact that "The Hotel New Hampshire" was a more popular book there than "Garp."