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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 336 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)

Battle Hell (1957) on IMDb 6.8/10

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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

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

[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

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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