* HeyItsThatGuy: Draba, the BlackBestFriend, is played by Woody Strode. He was better known as Draba than for anything else he did, but before he became an actor he broke the color line in the NFL in 1946.
* RealitySubtext: The credited screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, was blacklisted from Hollywood for refusing to name names during the Red Scare. There's even a line where Crassus proclaims "Lists of the disloyal are being compiled," [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything making this explicit]].
** Not just the screenwriter. The writer of the original novel was also on the blacklist.
* TroubledProduction: Fighting between Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick, tensions among the cast, a script being repeatedly revised, the production running extremely over-budget (especially for the final battle, a [[ThrowItIn last-second decision]] that cost over a million dollars), run-ins with [[ExecutiveMeddling studio censors]] and MoralGuardians alike... this one touches pretty much everything.