The official trailer for the film contained prominent scenes and dialogue that were removed before it was released in theaters. Among these excised items were: Wesley Snipes's Detective Harlan Regis character arrives at the White House via a helicopter at night; He then says the crime occurred "at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue--an address that changes all the rules"; and Daniel Benzali's Secret Service Director Agent Nicolas "Nick" Spikings tells Snipes, "You were born to become a chalk outline". These former scenes were cut when the filmmakers decided they were too over-the-top, not to mention, in the helicopter-arrival case, something that would never be remotely possible in real life. The scene between Snipes and Benzali was removed because it wrongly made Benzali look like an evil character and a major villain, when the film's story-line makes it clear he is an honest agent who is opposed to Snipes' presence because he feels it undercuts the Secret Service's job of solving the murder mystery.
The film's source novel is the first and one of twenty-five "Murder..." mystery fictional novels written by Margaret Truman, they generally most having government / political / legal / intelligence / bureaucracy backgrounds, but none of these ever having being filmed except the first, Murder in the White House, which is the source novel of this movie. Subsequent books have been titled: Murder on Capitol Hill; Murder in the Supreme Court; Murder in the Smithsonian; Murder on Embassy Row; Murder at the FBI; Murder in Georgetown; Murder in the CIA; Murder at the Kennedy Center; Murder at the National Cathedral; Murder at the Pentagon; Murder on the Potomac; Murder at the National Gallery; Murder in the House; Murder at the Watergate; Murder at the Library of Congress; Murder in Foggy Bottom; Murder in Havana; Murder at Ford's Theatre; Murder at Union Station; Murder at the Washington Tribune; Murder at the Opera; Murder on K Street; Murder inside the Beltway; and the last, the differently titled Monument to Murder.
Actor Alan Alda, who plays National Security Adviser Alvin Jordan, went on to play Senator Arnold Vinick in the White House television drama series The West Wing (1999) and previously had starred as fictional Democrat Senator Joseph Tynan in The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979). Alda also wrote, starred in, and directed Sweet Liberty (1986), which was about the botched making of a movie adaptation of an academic's book about the American Revolution.
The film's source novelist Margaret Truman also wrote a number of non-fiction and books about American politics and the White House. They were: Souvenir, Margaret Truman's Own Story; White House Pets; Harry S. Truman (about her father); Women of Courage; Letters From Father: The Truman Family's Personal Correspondence; Bess W. Truman; Where The Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman; First Ladies; The President's House: 1800 to the Present; and The Life of a White House Girl.
The film's Murder at 1600 (1997) title is a reference to the actual street address of the White House in Washington D.C. which is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The picture's working title actually had the more fuller street address of "Murder at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" in its name.
The quotation of former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt (Theodore Roosevelt) that National Security Adviser Alvin Jordan (Alan Alda) quotes says: "If I must choose between righteousness and peace . . . I choose righteousness".
The film was made and released in 1997 which was during the presidency of Democrat American President Bill Clinton which ran between 1992 (election) / 1993 (inauguration) and 2000 (election) / 2001 (end of office).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Charles Rocket, who played the man threatening suicide at the beginning of the film, committed suicide in real life in 2005. He was found dead in a field close to his home in Conneticut, USA. His death was ruled as a suicide by cutting his own throat.
The name of the assassin character in the movie, portrayed by actor Douglas O'Keeffe, is "John Kerry", who has the same name as the real life Democrat politician, U.S. Secretary of State, and former Presidential U.S. Candidate, Senator John Kerry