The second movie producer collaboration of producer partners Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. The movie was one of two 1984 releases the two produced together in that year. The other, their third collaboration, was Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Their first had been Flashdance (1983).
This Paramount Picture was often likened and compared to that studio's earlier 1980 film American Gigolo (1980) which had been made and released about four years earlier. At least about a half a dozen key crew worked on both movies including producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
One of two 1984 cinema movies that actor John Getz appeared in that were first released in that year. The other picture was the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple (1984). In both these films, Getz played a character who was first named "Ray".
Actress Diane Keaton and actor Warren Beatty were considered to play the leads of the wife and the thief during the film's development but in the end writer-director Douglas Day Stewart decided to cast younger leads in the two lead roles. Beatty and Keaton had starred in Reds (1981) for the Paramount Pictures studio which produced Thief of Hearts (1984).
The picture's development occurred at three Hollywood movie studios. The film project started at the Columbia Pictures studio, where writer-director Douglas Day Stewart, who had had success with The Blue Lagoon (1980), had done a deal with the studio to direct his first cinema movie. Early drafts of the movie screenplay suggested the film would be a "psycho-thriller" and Columbia executives put the picture into turnaround whereupon the 20th Century Fox studio picked-up an option to produce the movie under chief Sherry Lansing. When Lansing left Fox, management there also did not want to pursue the picture, and also put it into turnaround, upon which Douglas Day Stewart took it to Paramount, where coincidentally, Lansing had gone.
The movie was the first film in an exclusive five picture deal between the Paramount Pictures studio and production house Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films. This was announced in the 11th January 1984 edition of show-business trade paper 'The Hollywood Reporter'.