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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)
In the first major naval battle of World War II, 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:
John Gregson ... Captain Bell - H.M.S. Exeter
Anthony Quayle ... Commodore Harwood-H.M.S. Ajax
Peter Finch ... Captain Hans Langsdorff - 'Admiral Graf Spee'
Ian Hunter ... Captain Woodhouse - H.M.S. Ajax
Jack Gwillim ... Captain Parry - H.M.N.Z.S. Achilles
Bernard Lee ... Captain Dove - M.S. Africa Shell
Lionel Murton Lionel Murton ... Mike Fowler
Anthony Bushell ... Mr. Millington Drake - British Minister, Montevideo
Peter Illing ... Dr. Guani - Foreign Minister, Uruguay
Michael Goodliffe ... Captain McCall - R.N., British Naval Attache, Buenos Aires
Patrick Macnee ... Lieutenant Commander Medley R.N.
John Chandos John Chandos ... Dr. Langmann - German Minister, Montevideo
Douglas Wilmer ... M. Desmoulins - French Minister, Montevideo
William Squire ... Ray Martin
Roger Delgado ... 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 nine 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 six or eight 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:

Suspense Clutches Your Heart in This Spectacular Saga of the Sea! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Spanish

Release Date:

November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pursuit of the Graf Spee See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlantic Ocean See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Archers See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of Jack Gwillim (Captain Parry - H.M.N.Z.S. Achilles). See more »

Goofs

Little attempt is made to 'age' Montevideo to the period of the film and it looks far more like the mid-fifties, when it was filmed, than 1939. See more »

Quotes

Captain Bell - H.M.S. Exeter: The Commodore calling a council of Captains at sea. Quite the Nelson touch, eh?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The Story of Making the Film They're a Weird Mob (1966) 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

 
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22 March 2008 | by NewInMunichSee all my reviews

The Events around the Battle of the River Plate have always been somewhat special next to the sinking of the Bismarck for me, as Germany does not have such a rich history of sea battles as England does. Two things stand out : First the very positive display of the Captain of the Graf Spee, Langsdorff, treating his prisoners positively and trying to kill ships but not humans and even saving his crew from heroic death in Battle by sinking the ship by himself and refusing to go into battle. And his tragic end by suicide. Second, the laconic display of the British Officers and Men in Battle. This is where my title quote is coming from, as a message issued by the Captain of the shut-down and burning Exeter trying to escape to safety after the Battle and heavy hits. Otherwise it seems to be a rather careful display of events, although the scenes in Montevideo are sometimes play out like a prelude to a Carry On Farce. Greatest weakness is, that we totally loose sight of the German views and events on board Graf Spee once the battle has started. Totally 6 of 10


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