Pursuit Of The Graf Spee

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"The tremendous story of the victory over the Graf Spee."
  • NR
  • 1957
  • 1 hr 59 min
  • 6.6  (4,822)

Pursuit Of The Graf Spee is a riveting war film from 1956 that tells the story of the final days of the German pocket battleship, the Admiral Graf Spee, during World War II. The movie is directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and features an outstanding cast that includes John Gregson, Anthony Quayle, and Peter Finch. The story revolves around the events that took place in 1939 when the Admiral Graf Spee, under the command of Captain Hans Langsdorff (Peter Finch), was dispatched to the South Atlantic to disrupt the British supply lines. The Graf Spee was one of the most advanced ships of its time and had already sunk nine merchant ships by the time it was spotted by British intelligence.

The British launched a full-scale pursuit of the Graf Spee, led by Commodore Henry Harwood (Anthony Quayle), who was in command of three cruisers, namely HMS Ajax, HMS Achilles, and HMS Exeter. A fierce battle ensued on December 13, 1939, and the Graf Spee was forced to take refuge in the neutral harbor of Montevideo in Uruguay.

The bulk of Pursuit Of The Graf Spee takes place during the tense stand-off between the Graf Spee and the Allied forces in Montevideo. Captain Langsdorff is aware that his ship cannot withstand another battle and decides to scuttle it instead of surrendering. The film brilliantly captures the psychological pressure that the captain and crew of the Graf Spee face every day as they try to negotiate their way out of Montevideo.

Meanwhile, Commodore Harwood is under immense pressure from London to reopen fire and sink the Graf Spee. The British are concerned that if the Graf Spee is allowed to leave Montevideo, it will become a major threat to their supply lines. The film does an excellent job of portraying the diplomatic and military tension that existed between the two sides during this crucial juncture of the war.

One of the strengths of Pursuit Of The Graf Spee is its attention to detail. The film accurately depicts the different types of ships and equipment that were used by both the Germans and the Allies. The naval battles, too, are well choreographed and realistic, and the use of real war footage adds to the authenticity of the movie.

However, the real strength of the film lies in its depiction of the human element of war. The characters are well-developed, and their personal stories add depth to the plot. John Gregson, who plays Captain Bell of HMS Exeter, particularly shines in his role as a veteran sailor who tries to keep his crew together during a difficult battle.

The movie's final act, in which the Graf Spee is scuttled, is a tense and emotional climax that captures the grief, relief, and sense of loss that comes with every military victory. The film elegantly underscores the sacrifices that soldiers make while following orders and highlights the cost of war on both sides.

Overall, Pursuit Of The Graf Spee is an excellent war film that combines thrilling naval battles with realistic depictions of the human cost of war. The movie's outstanding cast and attention to detail bring to life one of the most important naval battles of World War II and make for a must-watch for anyone interested in military history.

Pursuit Of The Graf Spee is a 1957 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 59 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.

Pursuit Of The Graf Spee
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 59 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (4,822)