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Pursuit of the Graf Spee (1956)

The Battle of the River Plate (original title)
A true WW2 story: the British Navy must find and destroy a powerful German warship.
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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Gregson ...
Captain Bell - H.M.S. Exeter
...
Commodore Harwood-H.M.S. Ajax
...
Captain Woodhouse - H.M.S. Ajax
...
Captain Parry - H.M.N.Z.S. Achilles
...
Captain Dove - M.S. Africa Shell
Lionel Murton ...
Mike Fowler
Anthony Bushell ...
Mr. Millington Drake - British Minister, Montevideo
Peter Illing ...
Dr. Guani - Foreign Minister, Uruguay
...
Captain McCall - R.N., British Naval Attache for Buenos Aires
...
Lieutenant Commander Medley R.N.
John Chandos ...
Dr. Langmann - German Minister, Montevideo
Douglas Wilmer ...
M. Desmoulins - French Minister, Montevideo
...
Ray Martin
Roger Delgado ...
Captain Varela - Uruguayan Navy
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Captain Stubbs - 'Doric Star'
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Storyline

In the fall of 1939, the German heavy cruiser (referred to as a pocket battleship) Graf Spee seems to have command of the Atlantic. In the first three months of World War II, she was responsible for sinking 9 ships. The British sent three cruisers commanded by Commodore Henry Harwood to confront her. The battle took place on December 13, 1939 and the British came out on top. The Graf Spee headed for the neutral harbor of Montevideo, Uruguay. They were given only a short time to effect repairs and the British did their best to make them believe a British fleet of 6 or 8 ships awaited them. Rather than chance the loss of his men, the German captain ordered the Graf Spee scuttled. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Suspense Clutches Your Heart in This Spectacular Saga of the Sea! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

November 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pursuit of the Graf Spee  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(VistaVision)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The US Navy would not allow any Nazi insignia to be displayed on the USS Salem. Footage of the wartime German flag and other insignia was filmed on British ships. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes the German sailors are carrying American Thompson M1A1 sub-machine guns instead of German weapons such as the MP38 or MP40. See more »

Quotes

Captain Langsdorff 'Admiral Graff Spee': [to Captain Dove] Every commander is alone, Captain.
See more »

Crazy Credits

I.N.S. Delhi (formerly Achilles) as H.M.N.Z. Ship Achilles See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Making the Film They're a Weird Mob (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Rio de la Plata
(uncredited)
Music by Brian Easdale
Lyrics by Manuel Salina
Performed by April Olrich (dubbed by Muriel Smith)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent British Naval Drama. A Must-see.
15 September 2005 | by (United States, Chicago) – See all my reviews

I love this movie. Peter Finch stars as Capt. Langsdorf of the German "pocket" battleship Admiral Graf Spee. He is perfect; from the almost swashbuckly entrance and dialogue with Capt. Dove, a merchant captain whose ship they've just sunk, to the trance-like confusion at the end of the film. There are so many great actors in this film its almost like "the Longest Day," except these guys act. Christopher Lee as Manolo, the jealous bar owner; Anthony Quayle as Commodore Harwood; Anthony Newly as a sailor with about three lines that he still manages to over-act; and John Gregson, who plays Capt. Bell of the British cruiser Exeter. Well known, and often quirky co-directors and writers, Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell bring together spectacular shots of many of the actual ships involved in the battle with an almost ensemble-like feeling in the cast. From the British Ambassador with the no-nonsense, sharped-tongued secretary to the goofy-gaucho interpreter for the reporter, Mike Fowler, these powerfully presented characters intensify the real drama of this battle. It wasn't just a sea battle, it was political, involving sailors, spies, and bad cafe singing.


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Authenticity christopher_sargeant
TCM once again is showing a film in the wrong ratio Wfs1933
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