Duke Ellington did the music and has a cameo as "Pie-Eye."
Otto Preminger disliked the use of flashbacks; hence there are none in the film.
Otto Preminger originally wanted Lee Remick for the part of Laura because he had been impressed with her debut in A Face in the Crowd and knew that she could play a young sultry woman (even though Remick was 8 months pregnant when Preminger approached her for the role). A few weeks later he called to tell her that he had given the part to Lana Turner and instead offered her a smaller role of Mary Pilant, but Remick boldly refused. On an especially hectic day when Remick received a call saying that she had the part of Laura, she thought it was a joke and hung up. It took another phone call to convince her that she truly did have the lead female role.
James Stewart's character Biegler is generally cited as being the reason why he was cast as smalltown West Virginia lawyer Billy Jim Hawkins in the 1973-74 TV series Hawkins.
James Stewart's father was so offended by the film, which he deemed "a dirty picture", that he took out an ad in his local newspaper telling people not to see it.
June 2008 Ranked #7 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Courtroom Drama".
Part of the controversy surrounding this movie was because it included use of the words "bitch", "contraceptive", "panties", "penetration", "rape", "slut" and "sperm".
Shooting was completed in just two months.
The "law library" in the courthouse was actually filmed in the Carnegie Public Library in Ishpeming Michigan. The door that was opened in the Courthouse, which is in Marquette, Michigan, was the door to the men's restroom. The movie was filmed on location in Marquette County Michigan.
The film was cut, scored and in previews only a month after filming had wrapped.
The movie's poster was as #1 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.
The part of the judge was offered to both Spencer Tracy and Burl Ives, but instead went to Joseph N. Welch who was a lawyer in real life who had represented the U.S. Army in the televised Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954.
The part played by Lee Remick was first offered to Lana Turner, who agreed to take it on the condition that she would wear gowns designed exclusively by her personal couturier, Jean Louis. When director Otto Preminger objected that such gowns were not suitable for the role, Turner turned down the part. Columbia was ready to give in to Turner's demands but Preminger resisted and gave the role to Remick, then almost a beginner.
The police car sitting in the parking lot of the jail, is a 1959 Edsel sedan. There is on record a few Edsels used by municipalities, but it was more common to find a Ford, Chevy, or Plymouth in use by law enforcement.
Upon its original release, the film was banned in Chicago, Illinois.
When James Stewart's character goes to the hotel to visit Kathryn Grant, the clerk at the desk is reading Leon Uris's "Exodus". One year later, director Preminger would go on to direct its film version, Exodus.
When Judge Weaver first introduces himself to the courtroom, he says he is "sitting in temporarily while your good judge Maitland is recovering from a severe illness." Maitland is James Stewart's middle name.