Rudolph Valentino signed onto the film for $350 a week, less than Wallace Beery earned for his small role as a German officer. Metro provided Valentino only with his Argentine gaucho costume and his French soldier's uniform. For the Parisian sequence Valentino purchased more than 25 custom-fitted suits from a New York tailor, which he spent the next year paying for.
Adjusted for inflation, this film is the highest-grossing silent movie ever; it earned $9,183,673 - about $132 million in 2019 dollars.
Alice Terry wore a blonde wig during filming. She and Rudolph Valentino spoke French in their scenes to make them more authentic to lip-readers.
Rudolph Valentino's first starring role in a film. He had been an extra and done bit parts since his debut in 1914.
Early on one of the intertitles says, "Von Hartrott had reared his sons to respect the teachings of his Fatherland". The picture behind the text is of the statue of Kaiser Wilhelm II on the Deutshes Eck at Koblenz, the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. The statue was destroyed by the Americans in 1945, but subsequently replaced in the nineties.
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
As a token of appreciation to his former pupil Rex Ingram, Lee O. Lawrie, Professor of Sculpture at Yale, created a sculpture of the Four Horsemen.
Prior to editing, the kiss at the end of the tango scene between Rudolph Valentino and Beatrice Dominguez took up 75 feet of film. The scene wasn't in the Vicente Blasco Ibáñez novel, but was added by Rex Ingram to show off Valentino's dancing skills.
A four-column-wide quarter-page display advert on page 2 of The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, on Sunday 29 May 1921 (Volume XLIX, Number 90), states: "Produced at a cost of a MILLION DOLLARS, it is the greatest feat ever performed by makers of motion pictures. Translated to the screen from the internationally famous novel that has been read by ten million persons in the United States alone. Interpreted by a cast of 50 principals and an ensemble of 12,500."
President Warren G. Harding and Vice-President Calvin Coolidge, with their respective spouses, attended private screenings of the film.
This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1995.
Opening night film of the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The Mont Alto Orchestra provided live musical accompaniment for the Castro Theater screening.
In his book 'John Wayne: The Life and Legend', Scott Eyman recalls how Wayne saw this title "twice a day for the entire week it played in Glendale." His favourite actor was Douglas Fairbanks, and Wayne "admired his dueling, his stunts, his fearlessness in the face of danger, and his impish grin when he was about to kiss his lady-love."