The filmakers had initially wanted Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn to play the roles of Roberta and Susan, but the director decided to cast newcomers Rosanna Arquette
and Madonna instead.
Bruce Willis was up for the role of "Dez". Melanie Griffith was up for the part of "Susan" as well.
Madonna barely beat out Ellen Barkin for the part of Susan. Barkin was the producers first choice for the part, but the director claimed Barkin had a lack of substance.
The Statue of Liberty can be seen in the film when it is still covered in scaffolding during its two year renovation.
The DVD commentary track for the film (recorded in 1996) noted that after Madonna's first screen test, the producers asked her to take four weeks of acting lessons and get screen-tested again. Although the second screen test was not much of an improvement, the director still wanted her for the role, as much for her presence and sense of style as for anything else.
Costume designer Santo Loquasto designed Susan's pyramid jacket.
The film was inspired in part by the 1974 film Céline et Julie vont en bateau (Céline and Julie Go Boating).
The film also has an alternate ending, included on the region 2 DVD, where the duo, Susan and Roberta, are invited to Egypt after helping to return the earrings. They are depicted next to the pyramids on camels. The director cut this scene from the end saying that it was unnecessary and audiences at the test screenings thought the film should have already ended much earlier (as explained on the DVD).
The Time Travelers is a science fiction film directed by B-movie director Ib Melchior that inspired the 1966 TV series The Time Tunnel as well as the 1967 remake Journey to the Center of Time.... is playing in scenes 6 and 23 (melts at the end of the movie).
The movie was originally filmed in the summer of 1984, early in Madonna's rise to popularity, and was intended to be R-rated. However, following the success of the singer's 1984–85 hits "Like a Virgin", the film was trimmed in content by Orion Pictures to get a PG-13 rating so that Madonna's teenage fanbase could see it.
The interior / exterior shots of The Magic Club were filmed in Harlem.
Some of the scenes were filmed in Danceteria,a club that Madonna frequented and which gave her a start in the music business.