Pursuit of the Graf Spee

Pursuit of the Graf Spee

4.0 1
Director: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

Cast: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell, John Gregson, Anthony Quayle

     
 

Widely regarded as one of the best and most intelligent British war dramas of the 1950s, The Battle of River Plate is the story of Britain's first significant naval victory in WW2. John Gregson heads the cast as Captain Bell, skipper of the Exeter, one of several vessels engaged in pursuit of the "indestructable" Geman battleship Graf Spee. Taking refuge in theSee more details below

Overview

Widely regarded as one of the best and most intelligent British war dramas of the 1950s, The Battle of River Plate is the story of Britain's first significant naval victory in WW2. John Gregson heads the cast as Captain Bell, skipper of the Exeter, one of several vessels engaged in pursuit of the "indestructable" Geman battleship Graf Spee. Taking refuge in the neutral harbor of Montevideo, the Graf Spee is covertly protected by the Uruguayan government. Eventually, however, German captain Langsdorff (Peter Finch) is faced with a difficult decision: either stand his ground and fight a losing battle against the Exeter and its sister ships, or scuttle the Graf Spee and save the lives of his crew. Battle of the River Plate was released in the US as Pursuit of the Graf Spee.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The incredibly gifted directing/writing/producing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger missed the boat a bit with The Pursuit of the Graf Spee. Graf is by no means a bad film, but it is a surprisingly lifeless one, and that's perhaps by design. Although the film details an important naval conflict of World War II, it's a conflict that is more concerned with choices than with action. It's an interesting idea to make an "action" film that purposely downplays the action and tries to build tension more from wondering what choices characters should make and whether they have made the right ones, whether those choices will work in their favor or come back and strike them down. But somehow these prodigiously capable filmmakers get too caught up in this idea and never find a way to make it dramatically compelling. They're too talented to create a film that has no interest, but Graf is definitely one of their lesser efforts, despite some very fine cinematography, some excellent staging and some keenly observed character moments. There's also solid work from Anthony Quayle, Peter Finch and John Gregson, but it doesn't make Graf a "must see" film experience.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/09/2010
UPC:
0759731412520
Original Release:
1956
Rating:
NR
Source:
Henstooth Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:59:00
Sales rank:
11,215

Special Features

Profle of battle of the river plate, includes interviews with John Brabourne (production manager), Christopher Challis (director of photography), Christopher Lee (actor), Ian Christie (film historian)

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Gregson Capt. F.S. Bell, "Exeter"
Anthony Quayle Commodore Harwood
Peter Finch Capt. Hans Langsdorff, "Admiral Graf Spee"
Ian Hunter Capt. Woodhouse, "Ajax"
Jack Gwillim Capt. Parry, "Achilles"
Bernard Lee Capt. Patrick Dove, "Africa Shell"
Lionel Murton Mike Fowler, American Radio Commentator
Anthony Bushell Mr. Millington-Drake, British Minister
Michael Goodliffe Capt. McCall, British Naval Attache
Patrick MacNee Lieutenant Commander Medley
John Chandos Dr. Langmann, German Minister
Douglas Wilmer Mr. Desmoulins, French Minister
William Squire Ray Martin
Roger Delgado Capt. Varela
Andrew Cruickshank Capt. Stubs
Christopher Lee Manola, Cantina Manager
Edward Atienza Pop
April Olrich Dolores, Cantina Singer
David Farrar Narrator
Barry Foster Actor
Peter Illing Dr. Guani, Uruguayan Foreign Minister
Edward Judd Actor
John Le Mesurier Chaplain, "Exeter"
John Merivale Pilot, "Achilles" Bridge
Brian Worth Actor
Maria Mercedes Madame X
John Schlesinger German Officer
Anthony Newley British Officer aboard Graf spee
Nigel Stock British Officer aboard Graf spee

Technical Credits
Emeric Pressburger Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Michael Powell Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Christopher G. Challis Cinematographer
Austin Dempster Camera Operator
Brian Easdale Score Composer
Hein Heckroth Art Director
Arthur Lawson Production Designer
Frederick Lewis Musical Direction/Supervision
Gordon K. McCallum Sound/Sound Designer
Reginald Mills Editor
Charles Orme Asst. Director
Geoffrey Rodway Makeup
Earl St. John Executive Producer
Arthur Stevens Sound/Sound Designer
C.C. Stevens Sound/Sound Designer
Sydney Streeter Associate Producer
Bill Warrington Special Effects

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Battle of the River Plate
1. Start [7:13]
2. Aboard Ship [12:32]
3. New Arrivals [9:08]
4. Council of Captains [9:19]
5. A Perfect Day [10:21]
6. Sound the Alarm [10:23]
7. Damaged [9:56]
8. Is it Over? [7:22]
9. Montevideo [11:22]
10. It's a Miracle [10:07]
11. Emergency [10:29]
12. Heading to Sea [10:54]

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