When Jeff Bridges was first offered this movie by his agent, he turned it down, having just completed The Last American Hero (1973) for Lamont Johnson. When Johnson heard this, he immediately called Jeff and reprimanded him for his foolish decision.
The original Broadway production of "The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O'Neill opened at the Martin Beck Theater on October 9, 1946 and ran for 136 performances. The play had revivals in 1973/1974 and 1999.
One morning of the shooting, when he was drunk, Lee Marvin told to Robert Ryan's son that his father was finished and now the big star was him, Lee Marvin. Robert Ryan died of a cancer just before the release of the movie.