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Battle Hell (1957)

Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst (original title)
Approved | | Drama, History, War | 14 June 1957 (Denmark)
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.

Director:

Michael Anderson

Writers:

Lawrence Earl (book), Franklin Gollings (idea: and Official Admiralty Records) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Todd ... Lt. Cmdr. Kerans, RN
William Hartnell ... Leading Seaman Frank
Akim Tamiroff ... Col. Peng
Donald Houston ... Lt Weston RN
Keye Luke ... Capt. Kuo Tai
Sophie Stewart Sophie Stewart ... Miss Charlotte Dunlap
Robert Urquhart ... Flt Lt Fearnley RAF
James Kenney ... Lt Hett RN
Richard Leech ... Lt Strain RN
Michael Brill Michael Brill ... Lt Berger RN
Barry Foster ... 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:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1957 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle Hell See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both William Hartnell and Bernard Cribbins would later appear in the BBC TV series "Doctor Who". Hartnell as the first incarnation of the Doctor, from November 1963 to October 1966. Cribbins has Wilfred Mott,in nine episodes between 2007 to 2010. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, shortly before Amethyst rejoins Concord, we see a scene with Kerans standing on the bridge of Amethyst. The scene in the background is obviously a still image painted on the background. The waves are static. There is, however, light smoke which is moving between the bridge and the sky. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well made British naval drama
12 June 2015 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

THE YANGTSE INCIDENT is based on a true event that occurred in 1949 when a British ship travelling down the Yangtse river in China was suddenly attacked by Communist forces. Those on board must figure out how to get out of the situation alive, while the authorities attempt to negotiate with their foes and various men conduct themselves in a heroic fashion.

This is an assured production, well shot in black and white, that brings to mind the matter-of-fact storytelling of the classic A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. It stars the dependable Richard Todd as the guy sent in to extricate the ship from its tricky situation, and he leads an all-star cast of notables including William Hartnell, Robert Urquhart, Bernard Cribbins, Ian Bannen, Barry Foster, Sam Kydd, Ewen Solon, and Keye Luke as one of the Chinese.

Yes, this is a film which has dated somewhat since release, but it ably portrays the stiff-upper-lip attitude of the British that once made us famed and feared around the globe. A film championing the bygone days of Britain, then.


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