The Battle of the River Plate
The tremendous story of the victory over the Graf Spee.
Set during the early years of World War II, the War in the Atlantic. The Royal Navy was fighting a desperate battle to keep the convoy routes open to keep the British Isles supplied. One great danger was the surface raiders, huge cruisers called "pocket battleships" that slipped out of German waters just before war was declared. The "Bismarck", The "Scharnhorst", The "Gneissau" and The "Graf Spee" were supplied by tanker & could strike anywhere. This is the story of how 3 lightly armed cruisers with only 6 and 8 inch guns boldly took on a powerful pocket battleship armed with 11 inch guns. They should have been blown out of the water before they could fire a single shot but ...
One of my naval warfare professors recommended this movie to me, and I can understand why. While the plot and characterization and acting are all quite good, the lasting impression from this film is how much respect the filmmakers had for naval warfare. Luxurious shots of battleships and cruisers doing routine maneuvers and intimate portrayals of even the most minor of shipboard tasks dominate the movie. That may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I liked it.
Despite being drowned out by realistic special effects and poorly executed performances (with the exception of Peter Finch), The Battle of the River Plate is a somewhat decent film.
My full thoughts here: www.everypowellandpressburgermovie.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-battle-of-river-plate-1956.html
Continues the Archers' trait of complicating Nazi strawmen into flesh and blood humans, but the filmmaking seems pedestrian and workmanlike in a war their actual wartime "propaganda" films never did.
"Lovely Powell and Pressburger retelling of an early WWII naval battle, without the usual (for that time) caricaturing of the German sailors. A very interesting story, and it is worth noting that [SPOILERS] Captain Langsdorff committed suicide soon after scuttling his ship, something the film doesn't mention."
One of the weakest Powell and Pressburger efforts in my opinion but this is still rip roaring stuff.