- Deleted Scene: Three scenes were cut:
- A scene in which an elderly black woman is harassed and made to cry on the boardwalk by Danny's skinhead friends, Jason and Chris.
- A scene after the "party", in which Cameron and Seth go to a café and discuss Derek's change. They then harass a black guy/white girl couple, and then leave. A car is waiting outside, in which several black men watch them leave, before going after them. One black man inside the car remarks "Somebody's gonna get their ass whipped." The aftermath is not shown, but we later learn that Cameron and Seth were attacked.
- A brief scene in the café near the end in which Derek winks at a little black girl and asks her if he looks okay.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Before filming began, Edward Norton and Edward Furlong shaved their heads for their roles. Edward Norton also gained 30 pounds of muscle.
- Irony as She Is Cast: Fairuza Balk, who is of Romani heritage and an outspoken anti-ziganophobia activist, playing a neo-Nazi. Edward Furlong is also of Mexican and Native-American descent (apart from also having Russian ancestry).
- Wag the Director: Tony Kaye was removed from the project after shooting completed and Edward Norton delivered the final cut of the film. He's been accused of vainly giving himself more screen time, while others seem to believe that he merely stepped in to rescue the film from the scrap heap.
- What Could Have Been:
- Joaquin Phoenix was offered the role of Derek Vinyard but found the subject matter of the film distasteful and passed on the project.
- Marlon Brando was originally considered for Cameron Alexander.
- Earlier drafts of the script included Cameron and Seth getting gunned down instead of just attacked and that heroin was hidden in Derek's truck. The two black men trying to break into the truck were going to steal it.
Trivia / American History X