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PT 109 is a 1963 biographical movie which shows the events of John F. Kennedy's actions in command of Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 as a member of the United States Navy during World War II. The movie was adapted by Richard L. Breen, Vincent Flaherty and Howard Sheehan from the book PT 109: John F. Kennedy in WWII by Robert J. Donovan. The most dramatic special effect is what appears to be a full-size set with live actors being crushed by the bow of a destroyer. In the movie, the PT-109 is reported missing and a search is started. According to National Geographic, and the original book, the boat explosion was observed from other PT-boats and it was given up as lost. A memorial service was held while the crew was still on the islands. Solomon Islanders Biuki Gasa and Eroni Kumana were portrayed as mute random natives, when in fact they were dispatched by the coastwatcher to find them. The movie holds to the Donovan book version that Kennedy first suggested the idea of using a coconut for a message, using a knife to carve it. Gasa was later interviewed as suggesting the idea and sending Eroni to pluck a fresh coconut. The actors playing Gasa and Kumana were not credited either, though the senior native is mentioned by name when the large canoe arrives. The scene rescuing ambushed Marines is actually covered by the chapter in the book about PT-59, which Kennedy commanded after the PT-109. It was a gunboat that had its torpedoes removed.

Starring ... Cliff Robertson, Ty Hardin, James Gregory, Robert Culp,
Robert Blake

Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Producer: Bryan Foy


Year Released - June 1963

Length - 159 minutes

Music Composers: David Buttolph & William Lava

Movie Distributed by Warner Brothers



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