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Battle Hell (1957)

Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst (original title)
Approved | | Drama, History, War | 14 June 1957 (Denmark)
In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, British warship H.M.S. Amethyst sails up the Yangtse river but on the return trip finds its way blocked by a barrage fire from the Communist Chinese shore batteries.

Director:

Michael Anderson

Writers:

Lawrence Earl (book), Franklin Gollings (idea: and Official Admiralty Records) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Todd ... Lt. Cmdr. Kerans, RN
William Hartnell ... Leading Seaman Frank
Akim Tamiroff ... Col. Peng
Donald Houston ... Lt Weston RN
Keye Luke ... Capt. Kuo Tai
Sophie Stewart ... Miss Charlotte Dunlap
Robert Urquhart Robert Urquhart ... Flt Lt Fearnley RAF
James Kenney ... Lt Hett RN
Richard Leech ... Lt Strain RN
Michael Brill Michael Brill ... Lt Berger RN
Barry Foster ... PO McCarthy RN
Thomas Heathcote ... Mr. Monaghan RN
Sam Kydd ... AB Walker RN
Ewen Solon ... ERA Williams RN
Brian Smith Brian Smith ... Boy Martin
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Storyline

While sailing lawfully up the Yangste river in 1949, the British warship Amethyst found its return to the open sea blocked by Communist Chinese shore batteries that unexpectedly opened fire. In charge, Lieutenant Commander Kerans was not however prepared for his crew and his ship to remain as a hostage for the Chinese to use as an international pawn. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of one of the most daring actions in modern Royal Navy history.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The black-and-white feline seen aboard the Amethyst represents "Able Seacat" Simon, the ship's cat who became a celebrity after receiving the PDSA's Dickin Medal (at the behest of Lt. Cmdr. Kerans) for morale raising, despatching a rat infestation and surviving cannon shell injuries. The entire Amethyst crew attended his funeral in 1949 following his death of a viral infection caused by his war wounds. See more »

Goofs

When Lt Cmdr Kerans is approaching the Amethyst, an officer on Amethyst looks at him through binoculars. The angle of the binoculars view is incorrect. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The story of H.M.S. Amethyst is true and this dramatic reconstruction of it was shot with all possible accuracy in and aboard Amethyst herself. The producers' apologies are due, however, to the officers and ships' companies, the Chinese interpreter and many others whose parts in the original action have not been portrayed. These omissions have been dictated solely by the limitations of screen time. To the Admiralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry, to Commanders-in-Chief, Officers and Ratings of H.M. Ships and other naval establishments who have contributed so much to the making of this film, the producers tender their sincere thanks. See more »

User Reviews

 
Superb
6 March 2004 | by JHC3See all my reviews

The British frigate Amethyst is on a lawful run up the Yangtze River to provide supplies to the British embassy at Nanking. Communist Chinese forces are

victorious in the region and are marching on the city. As the ship travels upriver, Communist artillery batteries unexpectedly open fire. The frigate desperately fights back, but runs ashore after sustaining casualties and damage. The

situation settles into a diplomatic affair with the local Communist commander demanding all sorts of unreasonable concessions in order to allow the stricken vessel to leave.

For me, this dramatization of the real life incident involving HMS Amethyst on the Yangtze River counts as among the best in the genre. Action sequences

are realistic, especially for the time period. Especially remarkable is that the actual ship was used for part of the filming. The performances range from good to excellent. Highly recommended.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1957 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle Hell See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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