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Battle Hell (1957)

Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst (original title)
In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, British warship H.M.S. Amethyst sails up the Yangtse river but on the return trip finds its way blocked by a barrage fire from the Communist Chinese shore batteries.

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(book), (idea: and Official Admiralty Records) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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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

Taglines:

The true story of one of the most daring actions in modern Royal Navy history.

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The River Orwell, which runs between Felixstowe and Harwich, in Suffolk, England doubled as the Yangtze River during the making of this film. See more »

Goofs

Twenty minutes into the film, Leading Seaman Frank is blown to the deck, losing his cap. Actor William Hartnell replaces it, only for it to slip - and be replaced - again. It falls off completely as he crawls down the frigate - yet is on the sailor's head moments later after a shot change. 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

DVD version on the stocks?
4 November 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Such a film surely deserves a DVD release, especially as the real AMETHYST took a starring role in the film. As several contributors have mentioned the fact that this action has now been largely forgotten, there's even more reason for such a release. I can clearly remember hearing the news of the AMETHYST's predicament and then her heroic breakout, though I was only age 8 at the time. The late 1940s were pretty grim, with a couple of appalling winters, food rationing and fuel shortages - we needed a boost to our morale, and Lt.Cdr Kerans certainly gave us that.

I don't think any contributor has mentioned the very important role played by Able Seacat Simon aboard the ship - I'm sure he contributed greatly to the crew's morale.

"The Gift Horse", based on the epic raid on the St. Nazaire dockyard, is another naval film which is surely overdue for DVD release.


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