Yangtse Incident (1957)

Directed by Michael Anderson and starring Richard Todd, it followed The Dam Busters (1955, and surely the most BORING ‘great’ film EVER. Except maybe Jeanne Dielman… Even the title does for you in that one…) in the ‘straightforwardly told imperial derring-do’ tradition. Except. There. Wasn’t. An. Empire. Any. MORE!!!
Eric Ambler ‘wrote the script’, presumably in the two-week gap between his novels State of Siege (1956) and Passage of Arms (1959)…
The ‘incident’ happened in 1949 when HMS Amethyst sailed up the Yangtse and… (oh, it’s too dull to even write about…).
What the AMETHYST was doing there was, of course, never discussed…

If the Yangtse looks suspiciously like England, it’s because it was actually the Orwell, Suffolk. B&W covers a multitude of sins – at least that was the theory…
Herbert Wilcox – aka Mr Anna Neagle, the great uncle of Nicholas Hoult and the MOST SUCCESSFUL BRITISH FILM PRODUCER EVER! (thanks to Ryan for research…) – must have considered this with a sinking feeling. Even Spring In Park Lane (1948, with A Neagle and M Wilding) was preferable…
Among the b-list cast – in which ‘foreigners’ like Akim Tamiroff play Chinese! – Bernard Cribbins and Ian Bannen can be spotted…


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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