The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

The Launch of the Punta Medanos at Wallsend
The Launch of the Punta Medanos at Wallsend

The Launch of the Punta Medanos at Wallsend 1950


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


The Launch of the Punta Medanos at Wallsend 1950

5 mins United Kingdom

A bit-part player in the Falklands conflict of 1982 was the Argentine naval tanker Punta Medanos. Thirty years earlier, all 500 feet of this newly built behemoth are seen sliding into the waters of the Tyne - twice. You don't need to understand the Spanish title cards to see that the two countries enjoyed, at least for the time being, a good business relationship.

The copy of the film in the BFI National Archive is something of an oddity. The footage seems unedited, with the launch seen from two angles - not intercut, but separately with glimpses of construction stages in between. But the effusive Spanish titles at the beginning and end of the film seem fully finished - even if some of them refer to things unseen.


Sponsored film


Swan Hunter Shipbuilding Freight ships Launchings


Shipbuilding on Film




United Kingdom



Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

The map


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later