The 1991 version is a re-make of the 1962 film starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck and directed by J. Lee Thompson (who also directed The Guns of Navarone and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes). Telly Savalas is in that version also.

The '91 version, directed by Martin Scorsese is also the film that really catapulted Juliette Lewis' career. Probably the most notorious (and powerful and scary and riveting) scene in the film features De Niro and Lewis, in an innuendo-laden psycho-seduction; the scene was entirely improvised and shot in one take (according to IMDB). Both Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck have cameos in this version.

The novel on which the films are based was written by John D. MacDonald. It was originally titled The Executioners and was published in 1958.