President John F. Kennedy kept a unique inauguration gift on his desk: a plastic-encased coconut. The tale of that coconut is the heroic story of PT 109.


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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Cliff Robertson ... Lt. (J.G.) 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 ... Charles 'Bucky' Harris
William Douglas ... Gerard Zinser
Biff Elliot ... Edgar E. Mauer (as Biff Elliott)
Norman Fell ... Edmund Drewitch
Sam Gilman ... Raymond Starkey
Clyde Howdy ... Leon Drawdy
Buzz Martin ... Mate Maurice Kowal


Dramatization of President John F. Kennedy's WWII military experiences during which he commanded a PT boat that sank after being rammed by a Japanese destroyer while on patrol in the South Pacific on a very dark night. He and the other survivors, some of whom were wounded, made their way to a nearby island where they had to survive on meager rations and avoid capture by enemy forces till they could find a way to signal the Navy for rescue. Written by John Vogel <> / Hans Delbruck

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Biography | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


WILHELM SCREAM: When the 109 is cut in half, one of the men screams the Wilhelm scream. See more »


In at least one scene, there is an airplane contrail in the background. Contrails are created by propeller-driven aircraft as easily as by jets, as a function of altitude and air temperature. See more »


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.
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Referenced in The Human Jungle: Struggle for a Mind (1964) See more »


99 Bottles of Beer
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User Reviews

Good War Movie
15 October 2011 | by arsportsltdSee all my reviews

As a Veteran I like War Movies and this film re tells the story of John F Kennedy's bravery in the Pacific theatre in WWII. John Kennedy had a mythic reputation while in office and Warner Bros was surely not going to do anything to dispel that myth. Cliff Robertson able star is cast as JFK. Others mentioned for the JFK role were Warren Beatty and a WB contract player Edd Byrnes who found fame as Kookie on 77 Sunset Strip. (Byrnes has written a book about his life which is a good read) Likely the reliable Mr. Robertson was more to the liking of the President than Warren Beatty or Edd Byrnes -who would have been my choice. Byrnes would have made JFK what he really was: A Randy Young Man! This is a good film, modest and easy to watch. It is also noted for the appearances of Warner Bros stars Ty Hardin and Grant Williams, and also Robert Culp, Robert Blake, et al who would find their mark as TV stars in the future. As has been noted Jack Warner who ran Warner Bros with an iron fist with great results deemed himself the Producer of this film likely to assuage any doubts of the Kennedy family of this film portraying JFK in anything but a positive light.

PT 109 is a respectful movie of a Naval Hero.

David Barra Los Angeles

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Official Sites:

Official site




English | Japanese

Release Date:

19 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

PT Boat 109 See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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