6.6/10
3,986
54 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.
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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
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
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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:

The true and moving story of a mighty sea battle [Video Australia] See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Benard Lee is on the deck of the "Graf Spee", one of the main battery turrets plainly has a U.S. Navy "E" on it. See more »

Quotes

Chief Yeoman Signals, HMS Exeter: A message from the Commodore, sir.
Captain Bell - H.M.S. Exeter: The Commodore asks, can we reach the Falklands? Reply: "Can reach Plymouth, if ordered."
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Golden Gong (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Cabalgata de los Gauchos
(uncredited)
Music by Brian Easdale
Lyrics by Manuel Salina
Performed by April Olrich (dubbed by Muriel Smith)
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User Reviews

 
Historical and epic battle between the Graf Spee and British cruisers
23 October 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is a splendid British film concerning historic deeds during WWII , the naval battle in the South Atlantic between British cruiser squadron of three ships and the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee , Dic 1939 . The main and secondary cast are stunningly incarnated by a magnificent plethora of English actors . The film contains a colorful and glimmer cinematography by Christopher Challis and an atmospheric musical score . The movie is well produced by Archers production and professionally directed by Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell . The motion picture will appeal to warlike genre buffs and British classic movie fans . Rating : Better than average .

The film is based on true events , these are the following : Though the British cruisers were no match for the battleship , Admiral Sir Henry Harwood (Anthony Quayle) launched an attack to Graf Spee (with 6 cannons,280 mm) . German fire seriously damaged HMS Exeter (commanded by John Cregson as captain Bell) with cannons 203mm , put half of HMS Ajax (captain Woodhouse played by Ian Hunter)'s guns out of action , and then damaged Achilles (cannons 152 mm) , but the cruisers did sufficient damage to the German ship to make its captain break off and run for shelter in Montevideo , Uruguay . The British followed and waited in international waters outside the neutral port . The Uruguay government ordered the Germans to leave after 72 hours . The British cruisers called Royal and Renown were near from Montevideo and Langsdorff (Peter Finch) didn't wait possibilities to vanquish . Hitler , reluctant to risk the Graf Spee being sunk by heavier British warship which were sailing for the River Plate , ordered the captain to scuttle the vessel . He did so 17 Dec 1939 and three days later shot himself .


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

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
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