Director Stewart Raffill once said of working with actor James Coburn on this movie that Coburn was "one of the most interesting people I've ever met. He was terribly beat up with arthritis at the time and had to be lifted onto a horse for the movie. But he was interested in all sorts of esoteric philosophies and things."
This movie's director Stewart Raffill once said of this picture: "There's a lot of fun and light moments in 'High Risk'. I see the film being in the 'Butch Cassidy' mold. There's humor, but the dangers, and the bullets, are real. Our heroes are not really competent enough to do what they do. They're working class guys who gamble their all on a chance to make it rich, and as such, I feel that they will be that much more easily identifiable to out audiences. They are simply doing what we would all like to do - have an adventure that would make our dreams become reality."
Director Stewart Raffill spoke of how this movie came about: "A producer came to me and said I like your movie [The Wilderness Family (1975)]. He said, 'I have the money to make a movie, but we have to get started in three weeks'."
Actors Bruce Davison and James Brolin actually crossed the very narrow and wobbly rope footbridge (with safety harnesses) that is suspended across a two hundred foot deep gorge that is seen in one of the movie's action sequences. However, stunt doubles took over for when the two fall off the bridge when it collapses.
This movie is based on articles in "Soldier of Fortune" magazine.
Most of this movie was set in Columbia, but filmed in Mexico.
This movie was not the first time that James Coburn and Anthony Quinn had appeared in the same movie. They both starred in A High Wind in Jamaica (1965) about sixteen years earlier. Though they both acted together in that movie, they appear in the same sequence at the end of this movie but don't actually act together in the same shot.
The movie was filmed during the actors strike of 1980.
Actor Cleavon Little is seen in 'drag' in this movie.
The film's cast includes three Oscar (Academy Award) winners: Anthony Quinn, James Coburn, Ernest Borgnine; and one Oscar (Academy Award) nominee: Bruce Davison,
Actors Anthony Quinn and Cleavon Little also appeared in The Salamander (1981) which debuted in the same year of 1981.
Third and final cinema movie collaboration of veteran actors Ernest Borgnine and Anthony Quinn. The films were: Barabbas (1961), Jesus of Nazareth (1977), and High Risk (1981). The three pictures were all made in different decades: the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s.The first and last of the joint ventures were made and released around twenty years apart.
Actor James Brolin has apart from High Risk (1981) also starred in such "High" titled productions as High Score (1990) and Hart to Hart: Harts in High Season (1996).
Actor James Brolin and actress Lindsay Wagner later also collaborated on the tele-movie Voice of the Heart (1989) and previously had worked together on the television series Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969).
The name of the country on the continent of South America where drug lord Mariano (Anthony Quinn) lived was "Colombia".
Actors James Coburn and James Brolin had both previously appeared in Our Man Flint (1966) around fifteen years earlier where Coburn had the starring role and Brolin had briefly appeared uncredited in a bit part.
Ernest Borgnine: As arms-dealer Clint.
The amount of money that the gang escaped with from the Colmbian villa was US $5 million.
The breed of dogs that protected the Colombian villa were two Doberman Pinscher canines.