It was written by John Dighton and Dalton Trumbo, though with Trumbo on the Hollywood blacklist, he did not receive a credit; instead, Ian McLellan Hunter fronted for him. Trumbo's credit was reinstated when the film was released on DVD in 2003. On December 19, 2011, full credit for Trumbo's work was restored. Blacklisted director Bernard Vorhaus worked on the film as an assistant director under a pseudonym.
It was shot at the Cinecittà studios and on location around Rome during the "Hollywood on the Tiber" era. The film was screened in the 14th Venice film festival within the official program.
In the 1970s, both Peck and Hepburn were approached with the idea of a sequel, but the project never came to fruition.
The film was remade for television in 1987 with Tom Conti and Catherine Oxenberg, who is herself a member of a European royal family.
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