6.6/10
3,778
53 user 19 critic

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.
Reviews
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Gregson ... Captain Bell - H.M.S. Exeter
Anthony Quayle ... Commodore Harwood-H.M.S. Ajax
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
H.M.S. Sheffield H.M.S. Sheffield ... H. M. S. Ajax
I.N.S. Delhi I.N.S. Delhi ... H.M.N.Z.S. Achilles
H.M.S. Jamaica H.M.S. Jamaica ... H.M.S. Exeter
H.M.S. Cumberland H.M.S. Cumberland ... H.M.S. Cumberland
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
Learn more

More Like This 

Night Ambush (1957)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo, Egypt to embarrass the occupiers.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Marius Goring, David Oxley
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Biopic of RAF Group Captain Douglas Bader who, after having lost both legs, flew a British fighter plane during WW2.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Muriel Pavlow, Lyndon Brook
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The World War II story of the Royal Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

True story of three British POWs and their attempt to escape from Nazi Germany.

Directors: Jack Lee, Ian Dalrymple
Stars: Leo Genn, David Tomlinson, Anthony Steel
The Cruel Sea (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The attack by British submarines on the German battleship "Tirpitz" in a Norwegian fjord during World War II.

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: John Mills, John Gregson, Donald Sinden
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of how the British attacked German dams in World War II by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

All leave is cancelled so that a British submarine can be sent after a new German warship. They chase it so far that they have no fuel to get home.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: John Mills, Louis Bradfield, Ronald Millar
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

True story of a British attempt to trick the enemy into weakening Sicily's defenses before the 1943 attack, using a dead man with faked papers.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Clifton Webb, Gloria Grahame, Robert Flemyng
Malta Story (1953)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In World War II, the island of Malta, strategically located and vital to supply lines in the Mediterranean Sea, is fiercely attacked by the Germans and the Italians, but staunchly defended by the British.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Stars: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Steel
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A German plot to kidnap Sir Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

H.M.S. Battleaxe was also used as a camera ship (off Malta). See more »

Goofs

When the petty officer runs forward on Exeter after she is hit in the bow, he reacts to the explosion of another shell before the hit occurs. He then completely disappears between frames and a repair party suddenly appears. It can also be seen that the ship is not moving through the water during these scenes. See more »

Quotes

Captain McCall - R.N., British Naval Attache for Buenos Aires: Suppose the Graf Spee does make a break for Buenos Aires. Will you try stop her?
Commodore Harwood-H.M.S. Ajax: McCall, I was never much good on a horse, but I know the drill. Don't take your fences until you have to.
See more »

Crazy Credits

H.M.S. Jamaica as H.M.S. Exeter See more »

Connections

Featured in Remembering John Gregson (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Rio de la Plata
(uncredited)
Music by Brian Easdale
Lyrics by Manuel Salina
Performed by April Olrich (dubbed by Muriel Smith)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Request permission to update list of spares
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


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 53 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed