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

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

The tremendous story of the victory over the Graf Spee. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | 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

Film debut of Donald Moffat. See more »

Goofs

When Captain Dove is first brought aboard the Graf Spee, the anti-aircraft gunners are wearing US-pattern steel helmets, not the German "coal-scuttle" Stahlhelm. This is noticeable in various other scenes as well, and is due to the fact that the Graf Spee is being played by the USS Salem. See more »

Quotes

[on board a badly shot up HMNZS Achilles]
Gunnery Officer: Captain, sir.
Capt. Parry, HMNZS Achilles: Yes, guns?
Gunnery Officer: We've fired nearly 1200 rounds sir. About one third of the arsenal only remaining.
Capt. Parry, HMNZS Achilles: Thank you. Are you all right?
Gunnery Officer: A few new ventilation gaps here, sir. A bit draughty, but otherwise all right.
[Capt. Parry turns to look at gunnery control position full of shell holes]
See more »

Crazy Credits

H.M.S. Jamaica as H.M.S. Exeter See more »

Connections

Referenced in The South Bank Show: Michael Powell (1986) 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 well-balanced war film
10 May 2004 | by (Victoria, Canada) – See all my reviews

This film mixes action with respectful exploration of the main characters, on both sides of the conflict. Excellent acting all round. The plot is developed carefully and sets the stage well for the ending. The local South American scenes offer colourful counterpoints to the preceding at sea sequences.

This film in British genre with the makers' principal focii being the storyline and the acting. Fans of the U.S.-style war movies may find the film too understated at times. They will also find the use of models for some of the battle scenes less than convincing when compared to the larger-than-life realism of computer-generated imagery.


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