The film's title, "Purple Hearts", refers to one of the highest military decorations that can be awarded to a soldier of the US military, "Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces". About forty years before this film was made, another Hollywood movie utilized the medal as a movie's title, with the release of the World War II picture The Purple Heart (1944).
Second of two Vietnam War cinema movies that director Sidney J. Furie co-wrote and directed in about six years the earlier film being The Boys in Company C (1978). Furie also directed another many years later, The Veteran (2006), but made-for-television.
Movie posters for the film featured a long blurb that read: "Dr. Don Jardian. Age: 29. Surgeon. Drafted. Vietnam. Nothing could have prepared him for the danger, the fear, the violence ... or the woman".
The lead female role of Deborah Solomon was played by Cheryl Ladd with the name of the production company producing the film being "The Ladd Company". The sharing of the same "Ladd" name was apparently purely a coincidence.