During the shooting of the film, director James Ivory called one of the takes of a scene with Raquel Welch "a bit dull" and asked for a retake. Because of this, Welch walked off the set and refused to return until Ivory apologized to her in front of the entire cast and crew. Ivory capitulated and they continued with the scene.
The part played by James Coco is partly inspired by the silent-film star Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle who had been accused of raping and accidentally killing bit player Virginia Rappe during a party he threw on Labor Day weekend of 1921. Coco's role was inspired by Arbuckle's work. But the movie had nothing to do with the Arbuckle/Rappe case.
The name of the film that 1920s star silent movie comic Jolly Grimm (James Coco) had made, his first in five years, which included the writing, directing, starring, producing and financing of it, was "Brother Jasper".
Vincent Canby in 1981 in 'The New York Times' stated: "The Wild Party (1975) was made in 1975 but is only now receiving its New York premiere is the result of one of those not atypical fallings-out between the people who actually make movies and those who finance them. The original distributor, American International Pictures, didn't like [director] Mr. [James] Ivory's version and released, instead, a drastically cut, re-arranged version that did poorly at the box office. The movie was then put on the shelf for four years. The film being shown at the Art is the one Mr. Ivory and [producer] Mr. [Ismail] Merchant wanted released in the first place".
According to the Merchant Ivory Productions official website, "time also has a framing role in The Wild Party (1975), shot soon after Autobiography of a Princess (1975). It has a curious history, having been inspired by a blank-verse narrative poem of 1926 by Joseph Moncure March about a disastrous Greenwich Village party given by a vaudeville comic in his walk-up apartment. The lyricist Walter Marks saw in it the idea for a musical film, with the setting changed to Hollywood at the end of the silent-movie era. Shortly after the project was brought to Edgar Lansbury and Joseph Beruh, producers of 'Godspell' and other Broadway musicals, Walter Marks's brother Peter [Marks] discussed it with [director James] Ivory and mentioned that a director was needed. It was in this way that Ivory, as director, and [Ismail] Merchant, as co-producer with Lansbury and Beruh, were brought in. An important change was made in the script on which Ivory and Marks collaborated: the musical became a drama with music".