The murders at the beginning of the film evoke the 1959 murders of Kansas farmer Herb Clutter, his wife and their two teenage children. This case was later documented in Truman Capote's book "In Cold Blood", which in turn was made into a film (In Cold Blood (1967)) starring Scott Wilson and Robert Blake as the two killers. Wilson appears in this film in the role of Arliss' employee.
Shot at the Sunset Motel in Monahans, Texas, owned and operated by Doris Barker. Daughter Jeanie Barker Scott's stepdaughter got a walk-on role when a young actress called in sick. Shooting the week there were James Caan, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The movie was produced via a 'negative pick-up deal' with Paramount Pictures. This is defined by Wikipedia as being "a contract entered into by an independent producer and a movie studio wherein the studio agrees to purchase the movie from the producer at a given date and for a fixed sum. Depending on whether the studio pays part or all of the cost of the film, the studio will receive the domestic, international, DVD, Blu-Ray and/or TV rights to the film, with net profits split between the producer and the studio".
Second and final of just two features films [to date, September 2013] directed by Steve Kloves. The first had been about four years earlier with 1989's The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989). Both pictures had titles that only contained words (other than articles) which began with the letters 'B' and 'F'.