Roberto Benigni had never been to America prior to this film.
Jim Jarmusch had intended that the shack that the fugitives find refuge in after escaping prison would have bunk beds, so as to make it look exactly like the prison cell. Incredibly, they found a shack were two bunk beds were already standing, so no extra furniture had to be added.
Roberto Benigni's line "It's a sad and beautiful world" was the result of a misunderstanding. The script read "That's sad and beautiful music", but Benigni said "It's a sad and beautiful word", but Waits and Jarmusch misheard it and though he said "WORLD", and so, the line stuck.
Only Jim Jarmusch film made with "American money" as Jarmusch himself calls it. He says that he prefers not to have his films funded by Americans because there are too many "strings attached".
Roberto Benigni's rabbit soliloquy was almost entirely self-written/improvisation, based on his own life experiences. His mother actually did raise rabbits.
Co-star Tom Waits referred to the film as "a Russian neo-fugitive episode of The Honeymooners."
Nicoletta Braschi, who plays the Italian woman, is Roberto Benigni's wife in real life.
Pruitt Taylor Vince filmed some scenes that were cut before release.