The movie was inspired by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby's "Road" movies, thus explaining Bob Hope's cameo appearance. Hope's cameo of less than 30 seconds playing a round of golf through a tent was his final appearance in a film.
As a guest on The Chevy Chase Show (1993) on 10/4/93, Dan Aykroyd tells a story about he and Chase being pursued by a truck full of paratroopers, while on location in Morocco. Aykroyd had taken a snapshot of the military unit, who then pursued them at high speeds back to their hotel, where they evaded detection by abandoning their jeep and hiding inside a van with curtains in the windows. The next day, as a prank, Aykroyd had 'John Landis' tell Chase that he had been arrested and should expect them to be coming for him next.
The "Ace Tomato Company" is most likely a reference to United Fruit (now Chiquita Bananas) a company widely known to have been involved with the CIA in the 50s. The connection is subtly underlined with the name of one of the generals, Miegs: - one Henry Meiggs, an American business magnate operating in South America, was the uncle of one of the founders of what would become United Fruit.
The answer to Emmett Fitzhume's question regarding who led the AL in HR's in 1953 is Al Rosen of the Cleveland Indians. Coincidentally, the last name Rosen was used as an alias (Dr. Rosen) in the movie Fletch, also starring Chevy Chase.
The song, "Soul Finger", played by the Russians on a portable cassette deck was, as Milbarge says, recorded by the R&B group the Bar-Kays and released in 1967. The song was covered by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi's band, The Blues Brothers, for their 1980 album "Made in America".
The final scene with the chess pieces represents Eastern Europe being knocked down - this pre-dated the Revolutions of 1989 where Eastern European nations overthrew their Communist regimes, leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Playing Colonel Rhumbus in this spy spoof, actor Bernie Casey had at the time recently appeared in the James Bond espionage film Never Say Never Again (1983), where Casey had played American CIA agent Felix Leiter.
In total there were nine cameos by directors alone which included: Costa-Gavras, Sam Raimi, Terry Gilliam, Joel Coen, Frank Oz, Michael Apted, Larry Cohen, Martin Brest, and Bob Swaim. None have ever directed either Dan Aykroyd or Chevy Chase in any of the 100 plus films any one of them made.
This is one of six movies in which both writer-director-actor-producer Terry Gilliam (Dr. Imhaus) and writer-producer-actor Charles McKeown (Jerry Hadley) have both been involved with, in one capacity or another. The others include Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Monty Python and the Life of Brian, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and Time Bandits.
John Landis: [gung-ho troops] The troops at the military training facility constantly make a "hut-hut-hut-hut" sound while training. This exact sound was used by the police SWAT team near the final scene of The Blues Brothers film.