According to Terence Stamp, the film was mostly improvised and first takes were always used. Two cameras filmed simultaneously to capture the spontaneity of the performances.
The film debut of Malcolm McDowell, although the only scene he appears in was cut out.
Director Ken Loach briefed his actors separately, often with conflicting information. For example, in the improvised scene where Joy throws stew over Dave, Terence Stamp was not expecting it, so Carol White's reaction was genuine.
In Steven Soderbergh's thriller The Limey (1999), flashbacks involving the main character played by Terence Stamp are actually (parts of) scenes from 'Poor Cow'.
When packing her case to leave the flat she shared with her boyfriend, Joy packs a copy of "The Man in the Queue" by Josephine Tey
Because of The Limey, where this acts as a kind of prequel using clips of Terence Stamp's character, and the poster art showing Stamp in large form, this is often misled as a crime film about Stamp's character when it's really about Carol White, the single mother whom he dates for a short time in the beginning.
Using clips from this movie in The Limey, the most memorable is a scene where Terence Stamp sings Donovan's Colours, which is the very end of The Limey.
Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental,
Original literary source: 'Poor Cow', novel by Nell Dunn, MacGibbon & Kee, London, 1967, 211 pages.