Dietrich's personal life was just as colourful as her high profile film roles - she was bisexual and allegedly battled a dependency on drink and drugs throughout her career. She was also rumored have enjoyed a string of love affairs with stars including Frank Sinatra, Yul Brynner and John Wayne.

Scriptwriter Andrew Davies has based the film on a 1992 biography of Dietrich by the actress' daughter Maria Riva.