The Battle of the River Plate (Pursuit of the Graf Spee)
The Battle of the River Plate (Pursuit of the Graf Spee) (1956)

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… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 30, 1956
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
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Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

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.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Though it's mostly a waiting game, the film is tense and involving, thanks to Powell's fluid shifting of the point of view.

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Sean Axmaker

The miniature work is excellent and physical production impressive even as the filmmakers constantly deny the spectacle of battle to focus on the people...

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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.

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TV Guide

The film is adroitly directed by Powell and Pressburger, though the concentration is on the vessels, rather than the men aboard them.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

... a rather routine chronicle of the capture of the feared German battleship the Graf Spee.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Powell and Pressburger's final collaboration as The Archers was also, perhaps, their dullest.

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Empire Magazine

Not Powell and Emeric's greatest work, but still a cut above many '50s war movies.

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An enjoyable and more than usually thoughtful Second World War film. Expertly photographed, cleverly paced and full of good humour and empathy.

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Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Walter M.
During the early days of World War II, the Nazis tried to starve Great Britain by targeting its merchant fleet. One of Germany's deadliest weapons was the… More