- Actor-Shared Background: Haing S. Ngor himself was a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime.
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers: The film ranks #60.
- BFI Top 100 British Films: #100.
- California Doubling: The film was actually shot in Thailand.
- Enforced Method Acting: One attack scene which shows a girl sitting on the back of a cart with her hands over her ears and crying. In real life, the girl actually had a happy disposition and director Roland Joffé was having difficulty getting her to cry. Finally, the Thai interpreter told her that she and everyone else (cast and crew) would have to stay there and couldn't go home. The girl burst into tears and the shot was achieved.
- What Could Have Been:
- Stanley Kubrick once considered making the film, but a close aide reviewed the book as "un-cinematic", according to notes and letters in the Kubrick archive in London.
- Alan Arkin, Dustin Hoffman and Roy Scheider were interested in playing Sidney Schanberg, but the filmmakers went with an unknown.
- Kevin Costner was considered for Al Rockoff.
Trivia / The Killing Fields