- The movie makes several references to the novel "The Memoirs of Arsene Lupin" by Maurice LeBlanc (the French author whose turn-of-the-century series of Arsene Lupin novels inspired the "Lupin III" manga and anime series), including the names of the villain and of Lupin's would-be love interest.
- During the negotiations to license the film for North American distribution, Streamline Pictures ran into problems when the Japanese copyright holders insisted (to avoid legal complications with the estate of Maurice LeBlanc, author of the turn of the century Arsene Lupin mysteries) that the main character's name be translated as "Cliff Hanger."
- In earlier English translations of the film, the main character was known as "Wolf" (largely for copyright reasons), which is a direct translation of the French word "Lupin." Current English translations have either reverted to the name "Lupin" as it original appeared in the works of mystery writer Maurice LeBlanc, or make use of the transliteration "Rupan" (the Japanese pronunciation of the word).
- The cars driven by the main characters are based on real models. Lupin's car is an Italian 1969 Fiat 500. Animation director Yasuo Otsuka, owned a Fiat 500. Clarisse's getaway car is a French Citroen 2CV, which was the first car owned by director Hayao Miyazaki. The goons chasing her use a British 1940 Humber Super Snipe. Zenigata's police car is a Japanese Nissan Bluebird, and his men ride in Canadian 1943 GM Military Pattern truck.
- The movie was completed in four months, from August to December of 1979.
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