The Battle of the River Plate View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Michael Powell Emeric Pressburger

Produced: 1956

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: U

Format: DVD

Released: 17 March 2003

Cat No: 3711504143

Moviemail Details

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The Battle of the River Plate

Cast: Michael Goodliffe , Ian Hunter , Anthony Quayle , Christopher Lee , John Gregson , Anthony Bushell , Bernard Lee , Peter Finch , Roger Delgado , Lionel Murton , Andrew Cruickshank , Peter Illing , William Squire , Jack Gwillim

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The penultimate film from the celebrated teaming of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (’Black Narcissus’, ’A Matter of Life and... Read More

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The penultimate film from the celebrated teaming of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (’Black Narcissus’, ’A Matter of Life and Death’) tells the true story of the famous 1939 naval battle. Hans Langsdorff (Peter Finch) is captaining the crack German battleship Graf Spee through the South Atlantic, unaware that a small number of lightweight British battle cruisers are hot on his trail. When the British cruisers manage to trap the powerful German ship in the Uruguayan harbour of Montevideo, they attempt to trick Langsdorff into believing that an entire battle fleet is waiting to destroy his vessel at sea.

Powell and Emeric Pressburger's final directorial collaboration as The Archers may lack the heady visuals and exotic romanticism of their best work, but still emerges as an even handed, intelligent and gripping wartime story relating the events of the British attempt to capture the German battleship Graf Spee in Montevideo harbour in 1939. There is a refreshing depth and understanding evident in the German characterisations, missing from many other WW2 films, and the whole is nicely shot (by Chris Challis)and well acted by a sterling cast of British character actors.

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