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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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Lionel Murton ...
Mike Fowler
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Dr. Guani - Foreign Minister, Uruguay
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John Chandos ...
Dr. Langmann - German Minister, Montevideo
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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 true and moving story of a mighty sea battle [Video Australia] 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:

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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

The "Admiral Graf Spee" is, quite obviously, a Des Moines class American heavy cruiser of the post-war period, the USS Salem. The actual "Graf Spee" had six main guns instead of nine, three each in one forward and one aft gun turret. She was also a much smaller and lighter ship. See more »

Quotes

Captain McCall - R.N., British Naval Attache for Buenos Aires: [McCall is telephoning the British Ambassador in Buenos Aires to try to spread a rumour] An emergency has arisen over the 'Graf Spee'.
British Ambassador in Buenos Aires (Voice): Careful, McCall - security.
Captain McCall - R.N., British Naval Attache for Buenos Aires: I know, sir, but this is most urgent. I have just heard by Admiralty code...
British Ambassador in Buenos Aires (Voice): This isn't a scrambler, you know.
Captain McCall - R.N., British Naval Attache for Buenos Aires: ...that two of our capital ships...
British Ambassador in Buenos Aires (Voice): Are you MAD, McCall? I'm going to hang up!
Captain McCall - R.N., British Naval Attache for Buenos Aires: Sir, I must insist - in this case urgency overrides security.
British Ambassador in Buenos Aires (Voice): 'Urgency overrides security?' Well, well, well, go on, go on.
Captain McCall - R.N., British Naval Attache for Buenos Aires: Both these capital ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The South Bank Show: Michael Powell (1986) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Rousing well made movie, using some of the original ships.
30 September 1999 | by See all my reviews

Fine, entertaining movie of the famous sea battle between 3 smaller British warships versus the great German Pocket Battleship "Graf Spee". Tremendous sea scenes , aided by the fact that most of the original ships which fought the actual battle are used in the movie. Well acted all-round with Peter Finch doing a fine job as Captain Langsdorf.


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