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Battle Hell (1957)
"Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst" (original title)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  14 June 1957 (Denmark)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 330 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 2 critic

While sailing lawfully up the Yangste river in 1949, the British warship Amethyst found its return to the open sea blocked by Communist Chinese shore batteries that unexpectedly opened fire... See full summary »

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(book), (idea: and Official Admiralty Records), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Cmdr. Kerans, RN
...
Leading Seaman Frank
...
Col. Peng
...
Lt Weston RN
...
Capt. Kuo Tai
Sophie Stewart ...
Miss Charlotte Dunlap
Robert Urquhart ...
Flt Lt Fearnley RAF
James Kenney ...
Lt Hett RN
Richard Leech ...
Lt Strain RN
Michael Brill ...
Lt Berger RN
...
PO McCarthy RN
Thomas Heathcote ...
Mr. Monaghan RN
Sam Kydd ...
AB Walker RN
Ewen Solon ...
ERA Williams RN
Brian Smith ...
Boy Martin
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Storyline

While sailing lawfully up the Yangste river in 1949, the British warship Amethyst found its return to the open sea blocked by Communist Chinese shore batteries that unexpectedly opened fire. In charge, Lieutenant Commander Kerans was not however prepared for his crew and his ship to remain as a hostage for the Chinese to use as an international pawn. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1957 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Battle Hell  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The technical adviser was Commander John Simon Kerans, the British Naval Attaché "who commanded H.M.S. Amethyst during much of the period of the story, and whose exceptional help is gratefully acknowledged" as the credits put it; he is portrayed by Richard Todd. He had been awarded the DSO Distinguished Service Order ("for distinguished services during active operations against the enemy") for his part in the Amethyst incident, and soon after helping on the film served a term in the House of Commons after being elected Conservative Member of Parliament for The Hartlepools district from 1959 to 1964. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, shortly before Amethyst rejoins Concord, we see a scene with Kerans standing on the bridge of Amethyst. The see in the background is obviously a still image painted on the background. The waves are static. There is however light smoke which is moving between the bridge and the sky. See more »

Crazy Credits

[Opening statement]: The story of H.M.S. Amethyst is true and this dramatic reconstruction of it was shot with all possible accuracy in and aboard Amethyst herself. The producers' apologies are due, however, to the officers and ships' companies, the Chinese interpreter and many others whose parts in the original action have not been portrayed. These omissions have been dictated solely by the limitations of screen time. To the Admiralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry, to Commanders-in-Chief, Officers and Ratings of H.M. Ships and other naval establishments who have contributed so much to the making of this film, the producers tender their sincere thanks. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb
6 March 2004 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

The British frigate Amethyst is on a lawful run up the Yangtze River to provide supplies to the British embassy at Nanking. Communist Chinese forces are

victorious in the region and are marching on the city. As the ship travels upriver, Communist artillery batteries unexpectedly open fire. The frigate desperately fights back, but runs ashore after sustaining casualties and damage. The

situation settles into a diplomatic affair with the local Communist commander demanding all sorts of unreasonable concessions in order to allow the stricken vessel to leave.

For me, this dramatization of the real life incident involving HMS Amethyst on the Yangtze River counts as among the best in the genre. Action sequences

are realistic, especially for the time period. Especially remarkable is that the actual ship was used for part of the filming. The performances range from good to excellent. Highly recommended.


19 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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