Apart from the British SAS, "Who Dares Wins" is also the motto for the Belgium 1st Parachutist Battalion; the Hong Kong Special Duties Unit; the Greek 1st Raider / Paratrooper Brigade; the Rhodesian Special Air Service; the French 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment; the Israeli Sayeret Matkal Shachak Armored Battalion (the 196th Battalion / 460th Armored Brigade); and also for both the Australian and New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS) Regiments. All have some kind of historical tie or connection with the British SAS.
Actress Judy Davis was cast after producer Euan Lloyd had seen her work in My Brilliant Career (1979). Lloyd initially contacted Davis by phone when Davis was in Israel playing the young Golda Meir in the tele-movie A Woman Called Golda (1982). Davis asked Lloyd to send her some more information and accepted the role after reading the materials.
General Ira Potter (Robert Webber) is supposed to be the Commander-in-Chief of Strategic Air Command, however on his white mess dress uniform he wears no pilot's wings. Few, if any members of the United States Air Force advance to General officer rank unless they are experienced flying officers.
The US Army officer Captain Hagen is from the Army Ranger regiment but he is wearing the old WWII diamond patch, instead of the scroll that was worn in 1982. Also the rangers of the period were airborne, Hagen does not wear jump wings, nor does he wear the black beret or bloused jump boot with his class A uniform.
Colonel Hadley: When the SAS is called upon to do what we're trained to do, we have been likened to a surgeon cutting out a cancer. It's a filthy and difficult job. We don't like doing it, but it's our duty.
The SAS (Special Air Service) were a British and Commonwealth special forces unit formed during World War 2 to conduct irregular warfare behind enemy lines. Britain, New Zealand and Australia all have their own SAS units expert in counter-insurgency, commando raids and anti-terrorism
How realistic is the film?
In some ways extremely so. The SAS training in hostage rescue at the 'Killing House' at Hereford and escape and evasion in the nearby Welsh mountains is very true to life. In the 1980s Arab governments such as Libya, Iraq and Iran really did sponsor terrorism in the UK and were supported by extreme left-wing politicians (dubbed the 'looney left' by the press) in the British parliament. The scene where the SAS storm Skellen's flat in order to rescue his family,(boring tiny holes in the wall in order to insert bugs, blasting in using a shaped explosive charge and killing the terrorists with 'double taps'to the head) is identical to the tactics used during the Iranian Embassy siege. The sequence where an SAS trooper catches fire whilst breaching the US Ambassador's residence is taken directly from real life events, Sgt John MacCleese of the SAS doing just that at the Iranian Embassy assault. Igrid Pitt's character is very blatantly based on Ulrike Meinhoff of the infamous German Baader/Meinhoff terrorist group.