The Battle of the River Plate (Pursuit of the Graf Spee)
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The Battle of the River Plate (Pursuit of the Graf Spee)
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… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The battle sequences, in which the lightweight British cruisers close in on the Graf Spee and force the enemy to take shelter in Montevideo harbor, are powerful, exciting and technically impressive."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Though it's mostly a waiting game, the film is tense and involving, thanks to Powell's fluid shifting of the point of view."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The miniature work is excellent and physical production impressive even as the filmmakers constantly deny the spectacle of battle to focus on the people..."
‑ Sean Axmaker,
"Give the British filmmakers a good, rousing subject from their own naval history and they're almost certain to come up with a picture that proudly bespeaks the courage and audacity of a hero breed."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"The film is adroitly directed by Powell and Pressburger, though the concentration is on the vessels, rather than the men aboard them."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"... a rather routine chronicle of the capture of the feared German battleship the Graf Spee."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Powell and Pressburger's final collaboration as The Archers was also, perhaps, their dullest."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Not Powell and Emeric's greatest work, but still a cut above many '50s war movies."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"An enjoyable and more than usually thoughtful Second World War film. Expertly photographed, cleverly paced and full of good humour and empathy."
‑ , Film4