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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

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on 18 December 2014
I'm disappointed with this German Blu-Ray release in the editing of this great movie. They should have left it as the full length version. They edited out the Christmas scene and used it in their Special Features as a Deleted Scene. Also, at the end of the movie where Mike Fowler was announcing the final report on the Graf Spee burning and the British ships, the hunters, were back on station, with Mike Fowler signing off. They edited out half of his final report and used it as a Alternative Ending in Special Feature section.
When I bought this German Blu-Ray version, I expected there would be extra, additional, never-before-scenes in it along with a never-before-seen alternate ending. What a disappointment!! It was just a repeat of what was shown in previous releases. Should have kept it as a full version.
Runtime of this dvd is 117 minutes.
Full version runtime is 119 minutes.
In November 2010, a restored, full, standard dvd version of the movie of the Battle of the River Plate, was released. This version is by far the better and best to get. I got this version back then and still remains the favourite to watch.
Or wait for some other company to release a new full Blu-Ray version without the deleted scenes.
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In Which We Serve, is the star attraction in this set, though not neceassarily the best which, in my opinion is We Dive at dawn - not exactly a classic, compared with "Das Boot" but good enough to provide the right mix of tension, cameraderie and fortitude necessary to portray the life of a submariner in war time. Both of these films were shot during the war and were certainly aimed at boosting morale, but are no worse for that: no-one in those days seemed to have the emotional vocabulary that we have today to convey war is hell and they are very much stiff-upper-lip, as you would expect for the time. No less so is Battle of the River Plate made just over ten years later: death is not treated as tragically; it comes suddenly and surprisingly, but is not drawn out too much, nor is it overly graphic. Growing up, post war in inner city London, everyone around me had been touched by war, and the grin and bare it mentality that everyone displays in the films was a factor of life for 1950's Britons too, so there is a real sense of this is how we were in the films that is appealing. These films represent a nostalgic look back in time when, despite hardship and war, things may just have been better, certainly simpler and less complicated, notwithstanding, "there's a war going on." A good set of films, that I enjoyed and can recommend.
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on 15 May 2017
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on 22 June 2017
Absolute classic film! Excellent acting!
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on 28 May 2017
A great classic.
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on 11 August 2009
Each film is a classic. Each film has unforgetable actors. Each film is worthy of recollection and enjoyment. Not because of people staggering around with limbs missing or blood splashed all over the deck, but of the gentler side, the British way :-) I know, I know, this was war but, in those days film-makers didn't want to shock or to turn someone nauseous, they wanted to entertain whilst telling a story. Buy this set, you won't be disappointed. British film greats such as Jack Hawkins and Noel Coward, John Mills et al. They are all there :-)
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on 3 January 2010
This movie has a personal history for me because my Father was one of the extras in it. Apparently Noel Coward recruited some navy guys whilst making the movie as extras jumping off the sinking ship, they had a number of re-takes because the guys were'nt told that the savage sea in the scene was only 3 foot deep and all burst out laughing when they abandoned ship. A great movie....but also recommend this seller because it arrived promptly and well packaged.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 January 2013
This set of 3 films contains a 3, 4, and 5 star offering. If I were reviewing this from the point of view of value for money, I would certainly give it 5. You can get the 5*, on its own, for £4, or you can buy this for £1.50 more (at the time of writing, all prices subject to change, etc!) & get two more eminently watchable films. However, I prefer to review music & film solely on the basis of quality. 3 + 4 + 5 / 3 neatly = 4!

The 5* film here is In Which We Serve. Although this is the edition of it that I own, I've reviewed it separately against the Restored 2008 edition. Here I will say that I regard it as second only to The Cruel Sea, in terms of Navy films. Fully deserving of a 5* rating, it is the story of a single ship & its crew, based reasonably closely on the real career of HMS Kelly. For anyone who enjoys old black & white films dealing with WWII events, this is a must have, whichever edition you prefer to purchase.

River Plate is the 3* film in this collection (I have this also as part of the 11 disc Powell & Pressburger collection). Where IWWS indulges in a certain amount of creativity around the framework of the real history of HMS Kelly, this sticks very closely to telling the history of a single battle (possibly campaign). As such it has less room for creative manoeuvring, and is consequently a bit more staid & unspectacular. If action is your thing, the battle shifts from military to political at around 70 mins. If the story is what you're keen on, the film weakens not at all upon the shift. The film has its weaknesses; the attempt to disguise the US heavy cruiser Salem as the Graf Spee is so thin as to be transparent, for starters. On the other hand, the very solid cast & believable script makes up for that. Plus there's a delightful cameo from a young, lean, swarthy, & disgustingly handsome Christopher Lee in the latter part of the film! If River Plate is not outstanding or especially gripping, it's also a solid, well made film; if there's little especially praiseworthy, there's less to carp about.

We Dive At Dawn is an interesting third in the trio. Plate is more or less a dramatisation of history; IWWS is more of a creative interpration of a historical base. WDAD is pure fiction. If Plate were filmed today, Hollywood would undoubtedly play fast & loose with history & probably include some overt love interest (because you have to!). The result would probably look a lot like WDAD, at least in the sense of being pretty unlikely. Like IWWS, Dawn is a wartime film and there is, therefore, a large slice of propaganda in its plot (Plate dates from '56). Nevertheless, it's a decent film with plenty of twists & turns, action, and human interest. The whole premise is slightly daft, but if you can make allowance for the propaganda (and if you are going to watch films from this period, you ought not to view them with a modern mindset), it's an enjoyable action-romp.

Overall, then, I give this set 4*. None of the films are anything like bad, and the presence of IWWS alone makes it worth the price. Three good period films for £5.50? What's not to like!
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on 14 April 2013
at times the only place to get these films is through foreign companies and especially as it's a british company who own it but can't put it out on bluray in the u.k. The film was superb, you felt at times you were on the boats so clear was the picture.Full marks to the vendor and the film company concerned
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on 4 January 2015
Based on real events, this Powell and Pressburger film tells the story not just of the battle, but of the manouevrings, (naval and political), and of the spread of disinformation that led up to the final outcome.

The bravery of both sides is recognised in this film and the Graf Spee's Captain Lansdorff (Peter Finch) is a central character.

The picture quality on blu-ray is excellent. The extras include an interesting comparison between some original and restored scenes. A "curtain" is drawn half way across the screen, revealing the restored version on one side of the screen and the original (unrestored) on the other side of the screen, (and there is a huge difference).

My only complaint about this item would be the price. The blu-ray disc sold here as "The Battle of the River Plate" is offered on Amazon's German site (amazon.de) as "Panzerschiff Graf Spee". Same film, same great quality, same extras and same (English) audio language. The only differences that I can see are that the disc on the German site has German writing on the box cover and costs about a third of the price.

Great film, (one of my all time favourites) and well worth having on blu-ray, especially when it can be had for under a fiver.
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