PT 109

Cliff Robertson stars in this stirring saga of Kennedy's wartime exploits as skipper of a PT boat in the Solomon Islands.


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PT 109
Price:$19.99

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PT 109
 
4.5

(based on 32 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Entertaining (26)
  • Informative (17)
  • Broad appeal (14)
  • Relevant (12)
  • Good resource (11)

Cons

  • Limited appeal (3)

Best Uses

  • At home (24)
  • Adult viewers (14)
  • Perfect gift (12)
  • Younger viewers (12)
  • Travel (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Movie buff (22), Avid moviegoer (5), Casual viewer (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

PT 109 on WB DVD!

This review references the WB Archive DVD that became available in 2011 -- it's great! What more do you want? Get it!Prior to the Warner Archive release, the film has been released...Read complete review

This review references the WB Archive DVD that became available in 2011 -- it's great! What more do you want? Get it!Prior to the Warner Archive release, the film has been released on VHS in pan & scan and widescreen and also on laserdisc. Why this film has never been previously released on DVD remains a mystery but this Warner Archive release blows previous releases out of the water!Warner Archive discs are DVD-Rs -- not mass-pressings. Warner Archive source materials are of variable quality but usually pretty darn good. This keeps studio costs down and spares the studio the cost of full-fledged remastering. Archive releases are bare bones -- don't expect anything more than the featured film. Hopefully, WB will start offering Blu-ray options in this series. Hats off to Warner for their continued pioneering efforts in home video."PT 109" was theatrically released in July 1963. I was a high school sophomore when I saw the film in its initial release -- it was quite impressive on the big screen. The film was a modest success in its limited release. Four months after it premiered, tragically, Kennedy was assassinated. Warner pulled the film from circulation.For this 2011 DVD release, Warner states: "This Warner Archive Collection presentation of PT-109 has been sourced from a recently-created HD 1080p master, derived from newly-manufactured film elements. The feature is presented in 16x9 Letterbox format, preserving the film's original 2.40 theatrical aspect ratio."Image quality here *is* excellent! Maybe this is a dry run for a Blu-ray release? Contrast is good. Colors are rich and clean as befits the South Pacific locale -- albeit most exteriors were filmed around the Florida Keys and Hollywood stages. Aspect ratio of this Panavision film is 2.35:1 and that's we get here! [@]. And Panavision's figure differs slightly from WB's.)Sound quality is quite good with very discernible dialog -- something that is often lacking in current films where dialog gets buried under loud sound effects and louder music. And it's mono. Why, I really don't know. This was, after all, a major, high-profile WB production -- "under the personal supervision of Jack L. Warner" though reportedly he was never on the set -- and WB knows how to do sound. (Take into consideration The Beatles releases of the time were mono.) Apparently the film was released in mono. But as I say, it sounds quite good -- the balance of dialog, sound effects and music is exemplary.Menu. Well, again, Warner Archive releases have zilch menus. In this case: "Play" and "Trailer" with a picture of a WB water tower in the background. That's it.The production is top notch -- money spent shows on the screen. Cast and crew are excellent. Story and character development are good though I wish they didn't tinker with the order of and depiction of historical fact -- the marine rescue occurred subsequent to the demise of the 109 while Kennedy commanded the 59, a memorial service was held for the crew of the 109 while the survivors were still stranded, the natives were sent by the coast watcher to find the survivors, Kennedy deeply regretted the loss of life in the incident, etc. These things could have been handled better. The producers needed to make an entertaining film so fact, as usual, is fodder for the mill. Switching directors early on may have led to some structural issues? I've never read the original script and am in no position to second guess. The film score is serviceable -- it works well in film -- but it could have helped to shape the film better. And maybe that's the issue here, the shaping of the film as a whole.This isn't film for everyone. The story takes its time, unfolding slowly (some may say too slowly). There are occasional lapses of logic -- say, don't PT boats have anchors to prevent drifting? All in all, make no mistake, this *is* a well crafted, (sometimes) engaging film that keeps your attention for its 140 minute length. It's good -- but it could have been great.I sincerely hope WB plans to do a proper remastering for a future Blu-ray. What we have here really looks and sounds great. But there are a couple of minor timing issues when cutting between location exteriors and studio interiors, a stereo mix would be very desirable and a plethora of extras would be *most* welcomed.All minor quibbles aside, this is a fine film with a fine presentation and I'm glad to have it at long last! Thanks to WB for making this available on DVD -- it's a keeper!Now -- bring on the WB Collector's Edition Blu-ray!)PS -- For a different look at PTs in the South Pacific, have a look at the excellent John Ford / John Wayne film "They Were Expendable".

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

When JFK became a hero

Good war story on DVD where there was no problems or defects. No special features though, which was kind of disappointing.

Good war story on DVD where there was no problems or defects. No special features though, which was kind of disappointing.

Reviewed by 32 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Great movie about a Good man

By Bob E.

from Great Falls, MT

About Me Movie Buff

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • At Home
      • Perfect Gift

      Comments about PT 109:

      I was 10 when JFK ran for office. I knew a little about the up coming president and this movie shed a little more light on him. I saw it first on a VHS tape. My dad rented it from a video store and we watched it one evening. The best part is when a Yeoman was telling "Jack" about Harvard and evidently pronounced it wrong and "Jack" corrected him.

       
      4.0

      speed sailing

      By oldtimer

      from redding, ca

      About Me Movie Buff

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Broad Appeal
      • Entertaining
      • Informative
      • Relevant

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Adult Viewers
        • At Home
        • Younger Viewers

        Comments about PT 109:

        movie was presented in a clear crisp widescreen format with good sound

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great DVD

        By Paul

        from Menasha, WI

        About Me Casual Viewer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Very Entertaining

        Cons

        • None

        Best Uses

        • At Home

        Comments about PT 109:

        I was glad to see this DVD released. The last time I saw this movie was when it was originally released to movie theaters back in the 60's.

         
        5.0

        Some Leaders are born to lead.

        By AmericanEagle

        from Louisville,KY

        About Me Casual Viewer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Broad Appeal
        • Entertaining
        • Good Resource
        • Informative
        • Sticks To The Facts
        • Well Told Story

        Cons

        • None

        Best Uses

        • Adult Viewers
        • History buffs
        • Jfk Fans
        • War movie fans
        • Younger Viewers

        Comments about PT 109:

        One more for the collection of the old, great war movies. In this case, a true event.Haven't seen it in years, even on TV or cable. Never could get it on VHS.
        This copy has excellant color and detail. The audio is good, once set, didn't have to adjust it again. I was young, part of the last generation to remember President Kennedy-this film shows his leadership during the war and the people skills he possesed that would serve him so well in the future.It is a highly entertaining and informative film. The only thing is the ending-it was designed to just leave you hanging-and it does. But that was the movies intent, so I can't complain too much.

         
        3.0

        When JFK became a hero

        By Boomer

        from Mt. Laurel, NJ

        About Me Avid Moviegoer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Entertaining
        • Good Resource

        Cons

        • Limited Appeal

        Best Uses

        • Adult Viewers
        • At Home
        • In The Car
        • Travel
        • Younger Viewers

        Comments about PT 109:

        Good war story on DVD where there was no problems or defects. No special features though, which was kind of disappointing.

         
        3.0

        Excellent movie with good transfer

        By gweyers

        from Orlando, FL

        About Me Movie Buff

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Entertaining
        • Informative
        • Reliable Research

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Adult Viewers

          Comments about PT 109:

          Not a bad transfer. The film that should get a restoration and BluRay treatment.

           
          5.0

          One of My Favorites

          By Mike

          from Madera, CA

          About Me Movie Buff

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Broad Appeal
          • Entertaining
          • Good Resource
          • Informative
          • Relevant

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Perfect Gift

            Comments about PT 109:

            One of my favorite movies.

             
            5.0

            A very good buy!

            By Anne Marie

            from Pennington, NJ

            About Me Avid Moviegoer

            Pros

            • Broad Appeal
            • Entertaining
            • Very Good Quality

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

            • At Home
            • Perfect Gift
            • Travel

            Comments about PT 109:

            The resolution is of great quality. I am very pleased with the product.

             
            5.0

            Great Movie!

            By phil

            from erie, pa

            About Me Avid Moviegoer

            Pros

            • Entertaining
            • Good Resource
            • Informative

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Adult Viewers
              • At Home
              • In The Car
              • Travel
              • Younger Viewers

              Comments about PT 109:

              What a good movie. very informative, but very entertaining.

               
              4.0

              A Great Movie Revisited

              By McGee

              from SoCal

              About Me Movie Buff

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Broad Appeal
              • Entertaining
              • Reminiscent

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Adult Viewers
                • At Home
                • Perfect Gift

                Comments about PT 109:

                A great reproduction of the film. I remember watching it with my dad on television numerous times when I was young, so I bought this for him. I'm sure he will really enjoy watching it again, and it will remind him of family viewing and talking about the film during commercials!

                Displaying reviews 1-10

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