There are allusions to Georges Bataille's "Histoire de l'oeil" throughout the film (e.g. Corrine describing her sexual encounter involving the milk and eggs). There are a few thematic references to the book, mainly in relation to consumerism, desire and savagery.

Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 25 Most Dangerous Movies".

The intertitle before the slaughter of the pig reads "Thermidor", which is the name of the month of the French revolutionary calendar when Robespierre was executed.

The character, Saint-Just, played by Jean-Pierre Léaud, is based on Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Just (1767 - 1794), a French revolutionary and military leader closely allied with Robespierre. He served with Robespierre on the Committee of Public Safety, becoming heavily involved in the Reign of Terror, and was executed on the same day as Robespierre. Leaud's character is reciting from Saint Just's 'L'esprit de la Révolution et de la Constitution de la France', a founding text of revolutionary ideology.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

Facel was a French manufacturer of automobiles from 1954 to 1964. The car in this film is the Facellia, a sports car version produced from 1960 to 1963. The Dauphine was a rear- manufactured by Renault as the successor to the Renault 4CV from 1956 to 1967.

The chant by the drummer is from the Comte de Lautréamont's "Chants de Maldoror".

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #635.