Sophia Loren's Best Actress Academy Award was the first Oscar ever given for a performance in a "foreign-language" film.

It has been said that Anna Magnani was originally cast in the role of Cesira, but when she was unable commit to the film due to illness, it was Magnani herself who suggested Sophia Loren for the role, suggesting to director Vittorio De Sica that if Loren (who was 25 years old at the time) would not mind playing a mother with an adolescent daughter, then the role should go to her.

Italian censorship visa #33469 delivered on 26 November 1960.

The Movieland Wax Museum (Buena Park, California) chose a scene from this movie for its depiction of their Sophia Loren wax figurine, specifically, the post-rape scene, where she holds her daughter (i.e., "Now she's worse than dead!")