PT 109 | Chicago Reader

PT 109

Part political hagiography, part wartime adventure film, this 1963 relic recounts John F. Kennedy's exploits as a patrol boat commander in the Pacific, culminating in his ship's fateful encounter with a Japanese destroyer. Cliff Robertson plays JFK with bemused detachment while a cast of young character actors (including Robert Blake and Norman Fell) ham it up as the ship's gruff but lovable crew. Parts aren't bad, but the film's epic-aspiring bloat makes it feel interminable. The perfunctory direction is by television veteran Leslie H. Martinson. 140 min.

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