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The working title of this picture was The Silent Reefs. Jack Bohrer's onscreen credit reads "production manager and assistant director." Although a February 1960 Daily Variety news item lists Curtis Kenyon as the screenwriter, the extent of Kenyon's contribution to the released film has not been determined. According to Hollywood Reporter production charts, location filming was done in the Caribbean. The Secret of the Purple Reef marked the motion picture debut of Richard Chamberlain.