6.7/10
5,546
56 user 15 critic

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 »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Khartoum (1966)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by British General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier).

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon
Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
El Cid (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (a.k.a. El Cid) (Charlton Heston) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone
The War Lord (1965)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 11th century Normandy, a Norman duke sends one of his knights to build a defensive fortress in order to guard the borders against Frisian raiders.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth
King of Kings (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Eskimo who has had little contact with white men goes to a trading post where he accidentally kills a missionary and finds himself being pursued by the police.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Yôko Tani, Peter O'Toole
The Buccaneer (1958)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During the war of 1812, Louisiana buccaneer Jean Lafitte assists the Americans in defending New Orleans against the attacking British war fleet.

Director: Anthony Quinn
Stars: Yul Brynner, Claire Bloom, Charles Boyer
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An ornithologist battles a family of bird poachers in the Florida Everglades.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Budd Schulberg
Stars: Burl Ives, Christopher Plummer, Chana Eden
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of film-making as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Richard Bock, Tom Farrell, Danny Fisher
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of president Andrew Jackson from his early years, the film begins when he meets Rachel Donaldson Robards. The plot concentrates on the scandal concerning the legality of their marriage and how they overcame the difficulties.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Susan Hayward, Charlton Heston, John McIntire
Wet Dreams (1974)
Animation | Adult | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Experimental anthology film consisting of nine segments - Contrasts, The Janitor, The Plumber, Another Wet Dream, The Happy Necrophiliacs, On a Sunday Afternoon, A Face, Politfuck, Flames - all focused on 70s sex, love and politics.

Directors: Lasse Braun, Max Fischer, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Melvin Miracle, Jerry Abnes, Barbara
Counterpoint (1968)
Drama | Music | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A famous orchestra conductor is captured by the Germans in WW2, and is forced to perform at private concerts for the Nazi generals.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Maximilian Schell, Kathryn Hays
Edit

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
Edit

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:

A handful of men and women held out against the frenzied hordes of bloodthirsty fanatics! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Simon, Moustache and O.E. Hasse were offered key roles. See more »

Goofs

When the Chinese army use a large cannon to bombard the legation compound , the little orphaned Chinese girl runs back in the temple she just fled where a large Buddha statue sits to save a little boy. As they run from the temple it blows up and a large rectangular stone comes crashing down behind them but bounces off the ground several times revealing it is a lightweight material not a massive stone. See more »

Quotes

Baroness Natalie Ivanoff: Even in wartimes, old man, a valuable gift placed high enough, can work miracles.
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

Referenced in Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) 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

See more »

User Reviews

Talkie Epic
18 October 2004 | by vox-saneSee all my reviews

A top-notch cast recreates a portion of the so-called "Boxer Rebellion" at the turn of the twentieth century, when Chinese reactionaries (a group called "Boxers"), opposing westernization, tried to drive western traders, missionaries and diplomats out of China.

Though "55 Days at Peking" is extremely simplified, since its history is probably unknown to most movie buffs, there is a lot of exposition, which means a lot of talk. The best epics (such as "Lawrence of Arabia") allow the images to do most of the talking. But the necessity of setting up the dilemma of western diplomats trapped in their compound by the hoards of reactionary Boxers requires a history lesson.

It also tends to dilute the tension. Unlike a similar film (and slightly later) film "Zulu", "55 Days at Peking" tends toward the "Grand Hotel" or "Ship of Fools" style of movie-making that would be pursued in the '70s disaster flicks, making it more study of soap-opera characters than about the tension of events. Though most viewers will not know the fictional characters, there are far too many (characters and fictional characters), which diffuses the interest in them too far (does anyone feel much sympathy for diplomats, in any case?), even though Heston, Niven, Harry Andrews and the rest act their hearts out. And there are many cloying sub-plots.

While it's the foundation of a pretty good (if superficial) story on the Boxer Rebellion, it never quite achieves its promise. It's too bad a movie can't be made about the Rebellion in these highly charged times in the early twenty-first century, when moviemakers seem to think all westernization is wrong.


13 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 56 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed