"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie onMay 29, 1939 with Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Thomas Mitchell and Rita Hayworth reprising their film roles.

Richard Barthelmess had deep scars that resulted from an infection due to plastic surgery. The only way to cover them up was with heavy make-up, but Howard Hawks convinced him to leave them the way they were because "those scars tell the story and are important to your character." Hawks also removed planks to make Barthelmess appear taller, to reflect his character's inferiority among his fellow pilots.

Howard Hawks and Jean Arthur did not get along during filming. Arthur was not used to Hawks' highly improvisational style, and when Hawks wanted Arthur to play Bonnie much in a subtly sexy way (not unlike his other "Hawksian women"), Arthur flatly said, "I can't do that kind of stuff." Hawks told Arthur at the end of the shoot, "You are one of the few people I've worked with that I don't think I've helped at all. Someday you can go see what I wanted to do because I'm gonna do this character all over again." Years later Hawks returned home to find Arthur waiting for him in his driveway. She had just seen his To Have and Have Not and confessed, "I wish I'd done what you'd asked me to do. If you ever make another picture with me, I'll promise to do any goddamn thing you want to do. If a kid Lauren Bacall can come in and do that kind of stuff, I certainly could do it." Hawks and Arthur never collaborated again.

Howard Hawks had known a real-life flier who once parachuted from a burning plane. His copilot died in the ensuing crash and his fellow pilots shunned him for the rest of his life.

Howard Hawks remembers: "When the movie was released a certain critic said 'It's the only picture Hawks ever made that didn't have any truth in it.' I wrote him a letter and said, 'Every blooming thing in that movie was true.' I knew the men that were in it and everything about it. But it was just where truth was stranger than fiction."

Dutchy's statements about flying, "Include me out," is a quote from Samuel Goldwyn. It is one of many malapropisms attributed to him.

For the role of Judy MacPherson, Howard Hawks screen-tested Dorothy Comingore, Rochelle Hudson and Rita Hayworth. He selected Hayworth because she had a face "that the camera likes."

In this film, Richard Barthelmess plays a pilot who is shunned because he jumped out of a plane and left his mechanic to die. In The Last Flight, he played a pilot who goes down with his plane to NOT leave his friend behind.

Near the end of the film, Bonnie (Jean Arthur) says to Geoff (Cary Grant), "I'm hard to get, Geoff, all you have to do is ask me." This line would, of course, be more famously re-utilized by director Howard Hawks and screenwriter Jules Furthman in their later film, To Have and Have Not, spoken this time by Slim (Lauren Bacall) to Steve (Humphrey Bogart).

The "Calling Baranca" line in the movie later found it's way into several Looney Toons (or Merry Melodies) cartoons.

The "Flit gun" mentioned by Bonnie in relation to the pests in her room is a hand-pumped insecticide sprayer. The devices were developed to spray Flit, a brand-name insecticide. Like many innovations, the name became attached to similar devices made by competitors and "Flit gun" became a generic name for this type of sprayer.

The film was inspired by a true story of a real-life couple Howard Hawks met while scouting Mexican locations for Viva Villa! (which was eventually directed by Jack Conway).

The Kid mentions that there are no bananas, parodying the novelty song, "Yes! We Have No Bananas" written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn.

The Kid says he has been flying for 22 years. The year of this picture is 1939. That would mean he started flying in 1917, probably with the Army Air Corps. Cary Grant's leather jacket has an Indian head insignia on the front and on the back. It appears to be from the 103rd Aero Squadron.

This film was supposed to be among the 12 American titles selected for the first ever Cannes Film Festival, set for September 1, 1939. Sadly, the war would delay the inauguration of the festival by seven years.

This is the movie that spawned the oft-misquoted Cary Grant line: "Judy, Judy, Judy" (his co-star's character's name). The misquote is attributed to impressionist Larry Storch who, when in the middle of one of his nightclub acts, saw Judy Garland walk in as he was impersonating Grant. Apparently this is how he addressed her.

Was originally titled "Pilot Number 4."

When Rita Hayworth couldn't play her drunk scene well enough, Hawks told Cary Grant to throw a bucket of water on her head, dry her hair, and to only say his lines.

With the exception of the rain, The Kid's death scene was copied nearly exactly and word-per-word from a pilot's death that Howard Hawks had witnessed.