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PT 109 (1963)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, War | 19 June 1963 (USA)
During WW2, Lieut. John F. Kennedy takes command of PT 109 to fight the Japanese in the Solomon Islands.

Writers:

Richard L. Breen (screenplay), Howard Sheehan (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cliff Robertson ... Lt. JG John F. Kennedy
Ty Hardin ... Ensign Leonard J. Thom
James Gregory ... Commander C.R. Ritchie
Robert Culp ... Ensign George 'Barney' Ross
Grant Williams ... Lt. Alvin Cluster
Lew Gallo ... Yeoman Rogers
Errol John ... Benjamin Kevu
Michael Pate ... Lt. Reginald Evans
Robert Blake ... Gunner's Mate Charles 'Bucky' Harris
William Douglas William Douglas ... Gerard Zinser
Biff Elliot ... Seaman Edgar E. Mauer (as Biff Elliott)
Norman Fell ... Machinist Edmund Drewitch
Sam Gilman ... Raymond Starkey
Clyde Howdy ... Machinist Leon Drawdy
Buzz Martin ... Gunner's Mate Maurice Kowal
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Storyline

Dramatization of President John F. Kennedy's wartime experiences during which he captained a PT boat, took it to battle and had it sunk by a Japanese destroyer. He and the survivors had to make their way to an island, find food and shelter and signal the Navy for rescue. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A band of men left for dead in a flaming sea and their epic heroism and survival! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

19 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

PT Boat 109 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The uncredited narration voice-over in the beginning of the film belongs to character actor Andrew Duggan. See more »

Goofs

The Jeeps seen on Rendova are the CJ-2 model that did not go into production until 1945. See more »

Quotes

Ens. Leonard J. Thom: [reporting aboard the PT109] Mr. Kennedy? Ensign Leonard Thom, your exec.
[they exchange salutes]
Lt. John F. Kennedy: Oh, hi. Glad to meet you, Leonard.
[they shake hands]
Lt. John F. Kennedy: Welcome aboard.
Ens. Leonard J. Thom: [looking around the boat] How long did they give you to put it in shape?
Lt. John F. Kennedy: Well, we've used about half the time just talking right here.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mitchell (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

99 Bottles of Beer
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Good, entertaining depiction of JFK's WW2 exploits
26 April 2016 | by grantssSee all my reviews

Solomon Islands, 1943. US forces are slowly pushing the Japanese out of the region. Short of larger warships, and suited to the shallow, narrow waters of the Solomons, the US Navy is heavily reliant on Patrol Torpedo (PT) boats to harry the enemy and perform all manner of other duties. One such boat is PT-109. Based on a (mostly) true story, here we see PT-109's exploits in the Solomons campaign, especially one incident for which it would become famous. Moreover, the movie focuses on the exploits and derring-do of PT-109's commander, Lt (jg) John Fitzgerald Kennedy...

Good, entertaining depiction of JFK's wartime adventures in the Solomons, and the one famous incident in particular. Never dull, and with some degree of grit, this is a rollicking adventure story. Some liberties taken with regard to historical accuracy, but not major ones. Reasonably accurate, militarily. Is possibly a bit too folksy at times in terms of the crew interactions.

Good work by Cliff Robertson as JFK. Supporting cast put in solid performances too.

Possibly even more fascinating than the movie is the making of it. JFK was President when the movie was made. He had veto power over the choice of director (he blocked at least one chosen director), got to choose who played himself (Cliff Robertson got the nod) and had input into other areas of the movie too. He managed to see the movie (he was assassinated five months after it was released) and said he liked it, but also thought that, at 2 hrs 20 mins, the movie was perhaps too long.


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