PT 109


Action / Biography / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Fresh64%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled53%
IMDb Rating6.6102683

john f. kennedypt boat

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Robert Blake Photo
Robert Blake as Charles 'Bucky' Harris
Grant Williams Photo
Grant Williams as Lt. Alvin Cluster
George Takei Photo
George Takei as Mate
Ty Hardin Photo
Ty Hardin as Ensign Leonard J. Thom
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.26 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 20 min
P/S 1 / 2
2.33 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 20 min
P/S 1 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by johno-217 / 10

Good historical drama

I first saw this film during it's initial theatrical release and have seen it several times since. This a good movie but at 2 hours and 20 minutes it runs a little long. This could have been made more concise and more adventurous and should have come in at 90 minutes and it would have been a better movie. Director Leslie Martinson only made nine mostly forgettable films in his long directorial career that was mostly in television. This was his best film. He was a much sought after television director and directed some of the most popular television series from the early 50's through the mid 80's. This was the last film in the long career of producer Bryan Foy. Foy was a producer and director from the 1920's and began producing full-time in the 1930's specializing in mainly B-movies. A great cinematographer here in Robert Surtees who had photographed Ben Hur, Oklahoma, quo Vidas and would go on to photograph The Graduate, The Summer of 42, The Last Picture Show and The Sting among his many films. A good editor on this film too in Folmar Blangsted who edited Rio Bravo and The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell and would go on to edit The Summer of 42 and ironically Camelot among his many films. This is the story of the naval career of future US President John F. Kennedy as a lieutenant in WWII. This is adapted from the best selling book PT 109 John F. Kennedy in WWII which was inspired by a 1944 article in the New Yorker magazine called Survival by John Hersey. The PT 109 story of the patrol boat in the South Pacific captained by Lt. John F. Kennedy that was cut in half in a collision with a Japanese destroyer was a big part of the Kennedy story. During his 1961 Inagural parade a full size replica float of the boat was featured in the parade route with all of the original crew members on the float as a surprise to the new president. He kept the coconut shell that he had written a message on encased in class in his Oval Office along with a model replica of a PT boat. Warren Beatty apparently was Kennedy's first choice to portray him in this film which would have made sense as when this was filmed in the summer of 1962 in the Florida Keys, Beatty was 25 years old, exactly the same age as Kennedy was in 1943 when the film's setting takes place. Beatty reportedly turned down the role and Kennedy's second choice was Cliff Robertson who at 36 years old when production was done on this film was a full 10 years older and quite a few pounds heavier than Kennedy was in 1943. Also in the cast are Robert Culp, Norman Fell, James Gregory, Ty Hardin and Robert Blake. Look for future Star Trekker George Takei on the Japaneses destroyer. Character actor Andrew Duggan narrates. This film has more of a look and feel of a made-for television movie but it's definitely worth a watch. I would give it a 7.0 out of 10.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle7 / 10

earnest war movie

U.S. Navy Lieutenant John F. Kennedy (Cliff Robertson) uses his family name to get assigned to the Solomon Islands. The flimsy torpedo-laden PT boats are used on the frontlines as the Navy is hard up for ships. Kennedy insists on captaining a boat instead of being on staff with Commander Ritchie. The 109 is a mess. The crew includes executive officer Thom (Ty Hardin),Bucky Harris (Robert Blake) and machinist Edmund Drewitch (Norman Fell).

This is an earnest depiction. Kennedy is never less than a boy scout. Cliff Robertson does a solid job although he's too old by 10 years. It's missing that young dashing captain aspect. His age also deprives the movie of a possible compelling learning curve in Kennedy's development. It's all very old fashion but well-made.

Reviewed by classicsoncall8 / 10

"Ain't that the biggest damn fool you ever saw?"

My summary comment was by one of the sailors beached on Plum Pudding Island, about Lieutenant John F. Kennedy (Cliff Robertson) when he set out to swim to a lookout post from which he would try to locate a passing friendly boat to rescue his men. What the movie did for me was effectively present the unselfish heroism of a man who eventually became the country's thirty fifth President. Without his spirit of optimism, it was fairly apparent that some of that crew would have cracked under the pressure of capture by the Japanese, or die of starvation.

Robertson is supported in the story by quite an eclectic cast. His closest aides are former TV cowboy heroes Ty Hardin (Bronco, 1958-1962) as Ensign Leonard Thom, and Robert Culp (Trackdown, 1957-1959) as Ensign Barney Ross. Hardin was virtually unrecognizable under that beard and mustache, I had to check the credits list to see where he fit in. Other cast surprises for this viewer included Grant Williams, Robert Blake and Norman Fell.

I recall having read the William Doyle book 'PT 109' ages ago and didn't remember the coconut part of the story; seeing the scene in the movie makes it seem almost impossible that the crew of the sunken boat could have been saved in that manner. Also, my impression of PT boats was that they were somewhat smaller than the way they were depicted in the movie, so seeing them in action was informative. Overall, this is one of those historically real stories that would have to have occurred, as seeing it play out in a movie seems more like fiction than fact.

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