Story [based on the book by Lawrence Earl and an idea by associate producer Franklin Gollings] is of the Amethyst, which, battered though not beaten, broke the Chinese Communist blockade and rejoined the British fleet. The Amethyst is shown sailing up the Yangtse, headed for Nanking on a lawful mission delivering supplies to the British Embassy. Suddenly, without warning, the Red shore batteries open fire and the frigate, after a heavy engagement, is grounded in the mud.

Story [based on the book by Lawrence Earl and an idea by associate producer Franklin Gollings] is of the Amethyst, which, battered though not beaten, broke the Chinese Communist blockade and rejoined the British fleet. The Amethyst is shown sailing up the Yangtse, headed for Nanking on a lawful mission delivering supplies to the British Embassy. Suddenly, without warning, the Red shore batteries open fire and the frigate, after a heavy engagement, is grounded in the mud.

All his attempts to persuade the British to issue an apology for ‘unprovoked aggression’ are resolutely turned down and both sides play a waiting game until the British commander decides to run for it.

Vivid battle scenes have been magnificently handled. The on-board scenes are genuine enough too, as the Amethyst was reprieved from the breaker’s yard to allow producer Herbert Wilcox to use it in the film.

There’s a high standard of acting by an all-round cast, led by Richard Todd as the commander who takes over after the captain is killed in the first engagement.

Yangtse Incident - The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst

UK

Production

Everest. Director Michael Anderson; Producer Herbert Wilcox; Screenplay Eric Ambler; Camera Gordon Dines; Editor Basil Warren; Music Leighton Lucas; Art Director Ralph Brinton

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1957. Running time: 113 MIN.

With

Richard Todd William Hartnell Akim Tamiroff Donald Houston Keye Luke Sophie Stewart
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