This film was the first movie ever shown on HBO when the service premiered in 1972.

The title comes from lines in the folk song "Goodnight, Irene": "Sometimes I take a great notion / To jump in the river and drown."

Paul Newman broke his ankle rehearsing the "grab-ass motorcycle race" sequence and filming had to be postponed for a few weeks.

Just before its release, there was a love scene between Michael Sarrazin and Lee Remick that was cut. This scene supposedly included nudity. In the final cut, their affair is only insinuated.

Paul Newman replaced Richard A. Colla as director.

The book makes reference to the movie "Summer and Smoke", but incorrectly names Paul Newman as the co-star with Geraldine Page in that film, rather than her actual co-star Lawrence Harvey. Lee Remick was also in "Summer and Smoke"

Paul Newman and Henry Fonda both received honorary Oscars before winning their Oscars Best Actor in a Leading Role.

The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Paul Newman and Henry Fonda; and two Oscar nominees: Lee Remick and Richard Jaeckel.

Richard Jaeckel 's Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominated performance was the only one in the category not in a Best Picture nominee that year.

Features Richard Jaeckel's only Oscar nominated performance.