Several members of actor-director Dom DeLuise's family have roles in this film. They are sons David DeLuise, Peter DeLuise, Michael DeLuise, and wife Carol DeLuise [aka Carol Arthur].
In addition to starring in the film, Jerry Reed also wrote, produced and sang the film's title song.
Out of 643 arrests, the number of convictions the Miami police burglary task force had achieved was a paltry 26. The number of convictions they got in the big bust at the end of the movie was 101 out of 197 arrests.
The movie was based on a real-life "deep cover" undercover police operation in the USA.
The police cars shown racing through the night are actually those of the Atlanta Police Department in Georgia, and not from Miami, where this movie was set and filmed.
The movie was co-written by crime novelist Donald E. Westlake, who had written the similarly titled novel "Hot Rock", which had been filmed about seven years earlier, and under the same name [See: The Hot Rock (1972)].
Debut produced screenplay of television writer Michael Kane who co-wrote the movie's script with Donald E. Westlake.
In directing this film, Dom DeLuise became the third member of "The Mel Brooks Stock Company" to become a director. The other two were Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman.
The music playing when Ernie, Louise, Doug and Ramon are showing Captain Gelberger the loot in the warehouse in the back of the pawn shop is "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss, the same music that was used in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
This picture was originally intended to start production filming during July 1976 but in the end principal photography commenced in mid September 1978.
Mort Engelberg was originally brought on board as a line producer for this film but in the end eventually became a full producer on this picture.
This film's opening prologue states: " "The picture you are about to see was inspired by true stories from police department files throughout the U.S....sort of."
Director Dom DeLuise, according to the film's production notes, appreciated the contribution made to the film by uncredited consultant editor Margaret Booth, who emphasized to him the important of prioritizing editing of emotional content over action story elements, with Booth receiving a "special thanks" billing in the film's closing credits.
According to the American Film Institute, producer Mort Engelberg "chose to research public record accounts in newspaper archives instead of negotiating story rights of the [Washington] D.C. police officers" who had been involved in real life deep undercover sting operations as fences.
In the pawn shop, the photograph to the right of the portrait of Queen Elizabeth is of Bettie Page, the legendary pin-up queen.
Peter DeLuise and David DeLuise portrayed characters, Peter Fortunato and David Fortunato respectively, who both had the same first name as their own.
The "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" pinball machine in the pawn shop was made by D. Gottlieb & Company, a Columbia Pictures Industries Company.
Co-screenwriter Michael Kane went on to write the story for Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) which also starred Hot Stuff (1979) actor-singer-star Jerry Reed. That sequel was directed by director-stunt coordinator Hal Needham who co-ordinated uncredited a car chase sequence for Hot Stuff (1979) receiving a "special thanks" billing in the film's closing credits. Needham had previously collaborated with Hot Stuff (1979) producer Mort Engelberg on the first Smokey and the Bandit (1977) movie.
This RASTAR - Mort Engelberg production originated at the Paramount Pictures studio and later moved studios to the Columbia Pictures studio. When this film was in development at Paramount in 1976, the picture had been developed as a treatment under the title of "The Best Bust of All" by Donald E. Westlake who would go on to become one of the movie's co-screenwriters.
The true to life story of how police officers and law enforcement agencies were going undercover as fences in order to catch crooks had become a popular high concept for motion picture development in the year of 1976 according to various show-business trade papers and this picture's production notes.
The Columbia Pictures studio, which produced this movie, was previously developing in 1976 another different movie with the same subject matter, under the working title of "The Fuzz & The Fence". It was to be based on a future book by Washington Post journalists Ron Shaffer and Al Lewis. Production House Cinema Concepts Inc. was partnered with the studio for that film's development.
Debut theatrical feature film of David DeLuise, Michael DeLuise and Peter DeLuise - all sons of the director Dom DeLuise and cast actress Carol Arthur the latter who was billed as as Carol DeLuise. All three sons have since worked in various capacities within the film industry.
Carol Arthur aka Carol DeLuise, who played Gloria Fortunato, shares the same birthday of the 4th of August with her son Michael DeLuise, who portrayed "Boy with Fish".
The film's closing credits state: "Our special thanks for the assistance of the following: The cities of Miami and Miami Beach; Kenneth I. Harms, Chief of Police, City of Miami; Dr. Leonard Haber, Mayor of Miami Beach; Robert S. Warshaw, City of Miami Police Department; Don Soffer, Turnberry Isle; Hal Needham and Margaret Booth."
The movie's production notes stated that the picture utilized as a filming location the construction site of the then future Turnberry Isle Yacht and Tennis Club in Miami, Florida.
One of numerous movies where actor Marc Lawrence has portrayed a criminal-gangster-mobster type character.