6.7/10
3,176
45 user 17 critic

Pursuit of the Graf Spee (1956)

The Battle of the River Plate (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | November 1957 (USA)
A true WW2 story: the British Navy must find and destroy a powerful German warship.
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner
Night Ambush (1957)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo to embarrass the occupiers.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Marius Goring, David Oxley
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The attack by British submarines on the German battleship "Tirpitz" in a Norwegian fjord during the Second World War.

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: John Mills, John Gregson, Donald Sinden
Hour of Glory (1949)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the Germans drop explosive booby-traps on Britain in 1943, the embittered expert who'll have to disarm them fights a private battle with alcohol.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: David Farrar, Jack Hawkins, Kathleen Byron
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Nazi anti-aircraft fire damages a British bomber, its crew bails out and seeks help from the Dutch underground.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Godfrey Tearle, Eric Portman, Hugh Williams
The Cruel Sea (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton
49th Parallel (1941)
Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A World War II U-boat crew are stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral USA.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Richard George
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

"Die Fledermaus" (The Bat) is the pseudonym adopted by Dr Falke. Floating on the buoyant waltzes of Strauss, this Viennese romp is sure to please. Disguises, tricks and every kind of ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Anthony Quayle, Anton Walbrook, Dennis Price
The Volunteer (1944)
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After a masterful performance as Othello in a London theater, Ralph Richardson is asked for an autograph by Fred, his dresser. A short while later, Fred has joined the Fleet Air Arm (Fly ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Pat McGrath, Anna Neagle
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Burton, James Mason, Robert Newton
Honeymoon (1959)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Australian famer Kit Kelly and his new bride Anna are driving through Europe when they help a stranded motorist. They discover he is Antonio, a famous dancer. Upon learning that Anna was a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Anthony Steel, Ludmilla Tchérina, Antonio
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of an RAF fighter squadron at the height of the Battle of Britain.

Director: George More O'Ferrall
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Michael Denison, Andrew Osborn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Captain Woodhouse - H.M.S. Ajax
...
...
Captain Dove - M.S. Africa Shell
Lionel Murton ...
Mike Fowler
...
...
Dr. Guani - Foreign Minister, Uruguay
...
...
John Chandos ...
Dr. Langmann - German Minister, Montevideo
Douglas Wilmer ...
M. Desmoulins - French Minister, Montevideo
...
...
Captain Varela - Uruguayan Navy
Edit

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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

November 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pursuit of the Graf Spee  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(VistaVision)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After Christopher Lee (Manolo) retired from the role of Count Dracula with The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), John Forbes-Robertson (Lt. McBarnett) succeeded him in The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974), the ninth and final film in the Hammer "Dracula" series. See more »

Goofs

By the time of filming, one of the turrets on INS Delhi (HMNZS Achilles) had been removed and HMS Cumberland was a trials ship without any guns. See more »

Quotes

Captain Bell - H.M.S. Exeter: Can reach Plymouth if ordered...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the film, we see this acknowledgement: There are hundreds of invisible people behind every film. Behind this one there are thousands. We would like to thank them collectively, for if we named them all there would be no room for the film. Then as the opening credits roll, an extensive list of acknowledgements (mostly naval officers) is shown in the background. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Cabalgata de los Gauchos
(uncredited)
Music by Brian Easdale
Lyrics by Manuel Salina
Performed by April Olrich (dubbed by Muriel Smith)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Excellent British Naval Drama. A Must-see.
15 September 2005 | by 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.


20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

How to Wield a Lightsaber

Legendary sword choreographer Tim Weske teaches our "IMDb Show" Jedis the basics of lightsaber combat. Plus, we break down the origins of some iconic Star Wars creatures.

Watch now