In an early scene, Ed Harris, clad only in a towel wrapped around his waist, plops down on a chair. For a split second, his genitals are fully exposed. This scene somehow evaded the censors (and in a PG-rated film) and in the first video release, the scene is intact. The scene has now disappeared from subsequent releases.
The film reportedly went through a major bout of editing; some say this was due to the tensions between Hawn and Demme. Some industry insiders reported many of Lahti's scenes were re-shot or cut entirely, due to Hawn's belief that she was stealing scenes, though Lahti and Hawn apparently got along well during filming.
The scene taking place on the pier, as Goldie Hawn's character meets her husband returning from the war, was filmed with real sailors as extras, from the U.S.S. Lang and the U.S.S. Gray, both fast frigates, and built during the Vietnam War.
The scene taking place on the pier was filmed at Long Beach Navy Base. You can see the U.S.S. New Jersey, recently restored, upgraded, and home-ported there, over Goldie's shoulder. This gave the effect of the scene happening at the end of World War II, as the New Jersey was a World War II battleship.
In 2017, after the death of Jonathan Demme, Sight and Sound magazine ran an article by Steve Vineberg entitled "Swing Shift: the unmaking of a masterpiece?". This gave a detailed comparison of Demme's original and unreleased cut with the release print, calling the version Demme delivered to Warners "one of the best movies made by an American in the 80s". According to Vineberg, Bo Goldman and Ron Nyswaner were involved in rewriting Nancy Dowd's original script, and it is unclear who directed the additional footage that producer-star Goldie Hawn insisted on (the commercial print accentuates her character at the expense of others, and makes her more likable). Ironically, Vineberg praises her performance in the director's cut: "Hawn didn't just slash Demme's canvases, but her own as well."
The aircraft being built at the factory is the SBD Dauntless. It was made by the Douglas (renamed "McBride" for the movie) aircraft company at their plant in El Segundo, California. A total of 5936 SBD's were produced during the war, with the last one rolling off the assembly line in July of 1944. Considered obsolete when the war began, the Dauntless served with both the Navy and Marines, participated in most all major engagements throughout the campaign in the Pacific, and was pivotal in the Battle of Midway before finally being replaced by the Curtis Helldiver late in 1944.