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

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 341 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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Title: Battle Hell (1957)

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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
Edit

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

[The film closes with King George VI's words following the incident]: "Please convey to the Commanding Officer and ship's company of H.M.S. Amethyst my hearty congratulations on their daring exploit to rejoin the fleet. The courage, skill and determination shown by all on board have my highest commendation. Splice the mainbrace". George R. See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best
16 November 2004 | by (Gloucester, England) – See all my reviews

Brtiain during the 1950's (when it had an thriving film industry) produced a plethora of fine war films, usually in black and white which gave a documentary feel about them and added to the realism and usually used only British actors (When made in colour and Cinemascope and usually with an imported US star they felt more contrived- The Bridge on the River Kwai excepted) Many have gone on to become classics like Ice Cold in Alex, The Dam Busters, The Cruel Sea and Reach For The Sky.

Yangtze Incident, the true story of the attack on HMS Amethyst by the Communist forces in China in 1949 is also one of the better ones and a bit unjustly forgotten about. It reunited Richard Todd with his Dam Busters helmer Michael Anderson and was produced by Herbert Wilcox (husband of Anna Neagle) shortly before he went bankrupt. The upper lips of the cast has never been stiffer but the heroics are natural and never overdone and the action scenes are tremendously exciting and all the better for using real and actual ships (The Battle of the River Plate for this reason is such a disappointment because the ships used bore little or no resemblance to the actual ones (exept one the INS Delhi is the actual HMS Achillies), especially the American heavy cruiser portraying the part of the Graf Spee}

The acting of the cast is uniformly (sic!) excellent with Richard Todd giving once again a low key but nevertheless authoritative performance

( he Jack Hawkins and Kenneth More seem to have the monopoly on this type of role)

All in all a good film the king they don't make any more and a pleasant and relaxing way to while a way a couple of hours on a cold wet miserable Sunday afternoon.


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