The film includes an appearance by Madonna, her first in a major motion picture, playing a singer at a local bar, where she performs the songs "Crazy for You" and "Gambler". In some countries, the title of the film was changed to market on Madonna's emerging fame and the popularity of the song "Crazy for You".
The scene with Shute training takes place at Joe Albi Stadium, in Spokane. It has since been remodeled and is still host to high school football, as well as the Crimson and Grey game played by the Washington State Cougars.
The poem recited by Tanneran in the classroom scene is a classic poem entitled "Spring and Fall To a Young Child" by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a noted Victorian-age poet whose works were published in 1918, some 30 years after his death.
J.C. Quinn, who portrays Elmo the cook in the hotel where Louden Swain (Matthew Modine) works, also co-starred in Gross Anatomy (1989), where Matthew portrayed Joe Slovak, and J.C. portrayed Joe's Father, Papa Slovak.