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55 Days at Peking (1963)

Unrated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 6 May 1963 (UK)
During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.

Directors:

Nicholas Ray, Guy Green (uncredited)

Writers:

Robert Hamer (additional dialogue), Philip Yordan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Maj. Matt Lewis
Ava Gardner ... Baroness Natalie Ivanoff
David Niven ... Sir Arthur Robertson
Flora Robson ... Dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi
John Ireland ... Sgt. Harry
Harry Andrews ... Father de Bearn
Leo Genn ... Gen. Jung-Lu
Robert Helpmann ... Prince Tuan
Kurt Kasznar ... Baron Sergei Ivanoff
Philippe Leroy ... Julliard
Paul Lukas ... Dr. Steinfeldt
Elizabeth Sellars ... Lady Sarah Robertson
Massimo Serato ... Garibaldi
Jacques Sernas ... Maj. Bobrinski
Jerome Thor Jerome Thor ... Capt. Andy Marshall
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Storyline

Diplomats, soldiers and other representatives of a dozen nations fend off the siege of the International Compound in Peking during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion. The disparate interests unite for survival despite competing factions, overwhelming odds, delayed relief and tacit support of the Boxers by the Empress of China and her generals. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

55 Days That Stunned the World! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 May 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Fifty Five Days at Peking See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Matas, Madrid, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is still possible to walk around the area of Beijing which was the actual location of the Siege of the Peking Legations in 1900, and to recognize sites and street layout depicted with admirable accuracy by the sets constructed in Spain for '55 Days At Peking'. The former legation quarter is east of Tiananmen Square, bounded in the north by Changan Avenue and south by Qianmen Street. One such important site is the gate of the former British Legation in Zhengyi Road, looking remarkably as it did in photos taken in 1900. Much of the area has been occupied for many years by Chinese Government agencies. Most of the heritage buildings remaining of the old legation quarter are reconstructions after the Boxer uprising. The area's tourist potential has been little exploited. The post-Boxer former French Legation post office is the foyer of the Dongjiaominxiang Hotel. The site of the former U.S. Legation has been renovated for up-market restaurants, bars and event venues. See more »

Goofs

When the flags are shown being raised over the legations at the beginning of the film, the US flag shown has 43 stars. That flag was in use for only one year, 1890-91. By 1900, the year of the Boxer Rebellion, two more states had been added, the last being Utah in 1896, and thus also two more stars. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Matt Lewis: What time is it?
Sir Arthur Robertson: Nine thirty-seven AM. August the fourteenth. Nineteen hundred.
Maj. Matt Lewis: How many days did we hold out?
Sir Arthur Robertson: Fifty-five.
See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive a 'U' certificate in the UK (making the film suitable for all ages) significant cuts were made by the BBFC. These included the scene of the priest being drowned by the water-wheel, a shortening of the screaming sounds made by the soldier before his leg amputation, and a removal of all references by Lewis to local women being made available for soldiers. To retain the same certificate all video releases also featured the same cut print. The 2014 DVD features the uncut version and is upgraded to a PG. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ahate pasa (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

So Little Time
(The Peking Theme)
Recorded by Andy Williams on CBS Records
Words by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
55 Days at Peking 2008 compared to 1963
27 September 2008 | by shmulik-cohenSee all my reviews

I am commenting on the DVD version that I have now and I have not seen since 1963. There is a very big difference as in 1963 not only I was much younger but Cinema has changed. 55 Days was a Large Screen Movie compared with the Ten Commandments, Cleopatra of the same year 1963 and The Sound of Music and many others at that period. In those days of Cinema Hollywood convinced people to go to the Cinema with Movies that are not the same on Black and White TV on Small Screen. Watching it on DVD is not the same. Technirama an Advanced Technicolor, Dolby Stereo not as big as Cinerama. I specifically remember sitting in the cinema and the sound moved behind us. For example the Musical Bands in the opening scenes playing the anthems. About the History of China read the other comments. Still a very exciting Movie where a minority overcomes the Mass's winning at the end. David Niven does an interesting part that reminds me of the Guns of Navarone. Heston and most other actors do it very well too. Nine out of Ten in Sam's Scale.


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