This 1962 Danish adaptation of Jean Genet's play was the first ever for TV or film, with many more to follow from other countries.

Genet loosely based his play on the infamous sisters Christine and Léa Papin, who brutally murdered their employer and her daughter in Le Mans, France, in 1933.

In an introduction written for The Maids, Jean-Paul Sartre quotes a line from Genet's novel Our Lady of the Flowers in which a character muses that if he had a play written for women he'd cast adolescent boys in the parts. Sartre then speculates on having this idea applied to The Maids.