Sand Pebbles

The Sand Pebbles

4.5 6
Director: Robert Wise

Cast: Robert Wise, Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna

     
 

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Steve McQueen received his only Academy Award nomination for his performance in this epic-scale war drama, based on the novel by Richard McKenna. In 1926, as China teeters on the edge of political revolution in the midst of a civil war, the USS San Pablo, is ordered to patrol the Yangtze River to represent and protect American interests. While the San Pablo…  See more details below

Overview

Steve McQueen received his only Academy Award nomination for his performance in this epic-scale war drama, based on the novel by Richard McKenna. In 1926, as China teeters on the edge of political revolution in the midst of a civil war, the USS San Pablo, is ordered to patrol the Yangtze River to represent and protect American interests. While the San Pablo may be an American ship, much of the labor is actually performed by Chinese locals willing to work for American money, while stern but inexperienced commanding officer Captain Collins (Richard Crenna) frequently drills his charges, unsure what else to do. A machinist's mate with just under a decade of navy service behind him, Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) is assigned to the San Pablo and immediately makes enemies among the crew -- he prefers to do his own work rather than farm it out to others, and the one Chinese man who works by his side, Po Han (Mako), is treated as an apprentice rather than a servant. Holman also falls in love with an idealistic American missionary (Candice Bergen), while his shipmate Frenchy (Richard Attenborough) falls for a Chinese girl and - with marriage plans in mind - kidnaps her to prevent her from being auctioned off. As Holman's methods and attitudes continue to anger his comrades, they find themselves increasingly at odds with the Chinese, especially after Frenchy's girlfriend becomes pregnant and Po Han is captured by revolutionary forces and branded a traitor.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Sand Pebbles is a lengthy but engaging mix of romance, historical epic, political commentary, and adventure. Three years after his star-making turn in The Great Escape, Steve McQueen delivers what many consider his most complete performance, as the antisocial crewmember of an American ship docked in China during the civil war of 1926. Though it presents a rather generalized view of imperialism, Sand Pebbles makes obvious parallels between America's presence in China and its presence in Vietnam four decades later. Director Robert Wise struggled to get backing for the film, succeeding only when he agreed to direct the film version of The Sound of Music. It was not a major hit, though its cachet increased when it received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/03/2008
UPC:
0024543452096
Original Release:
1966
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:59:00
Sales rank:
3,828

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve McQueen Jake Holman
Richard Attenborough Frenchy Burgoyne
Richard Crenna Lt. Collins
Candice Bergen Shirley Eckert
Marayat Andriane Maily
Mako Po-Han
Larry Gates Jameson
Simon Oakland Stawski
Ford Rainey Harris
Joe Turkel Bronson
Gavin MacLeod Crosley
Richard Loo Maj. Chin
Barney Phillips Chief Franks
Gus Trikonis Restorff
Shepherd Sanders Perna
James Jeter Farren
Tom Middleton Jennings
Tommy Lee Chien
Beulah Quo Mama Chunk
James Hong Victor Shu
Alan Hopkins Wilsey
Gil Perkins Customer
Walter Reed Bidder
Ben Wright Englishman
Stephen Ferry Lamb
Ted Fish CPO Wellbeck
Joe di Reda Shanahan
Loren Janes Coleman
Charles Knox Robinson Ensign Bordelles
Glenn Wilder Waldron

Technical Credits
Robert Wise Director,Producer
Del Acevedo Makeup
Robert Anderson Screenwriter
Jerry Endler Special Effects
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
William Kiernan Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Boris Leven Production Designer
Joe MacDonald Cinematographer
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Renie Costumes/Costume Designer
William H. Reynolds Editor
Walter Scott Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
John Sturtevant Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
William Turner Makeup

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Scene Index

Closed Caption; Commentary by director Robert Wise and actors Candice Bergen, Richard Creena and Mako; Isolated score track with commentary by music producer Nick Redman, film music historian Jon Burlingame and film historian/screenwriter Lem Dobbs; Trivia track; Road show version scenes; The making of the Sand Pebbles documentary; Steve McQueen remembered featurette; Robert Wise remembered featurette; China 1926 remembered featurette; A Ship Called Pablo featurette; The Secret of San Pablo featurette; Radio documentaries narrated by Richard Attenborough; Radio spots; Original theatrical trailer

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The Sand Pebbles 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
KLBH More than 1 year ago
The setting is breathtaking, the movie is unforgettable! Steve at his best! Got to go Holman!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Great story, Great actors, Great musical score.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The melancholy soundtrack sets the tone for this trip into American foreign policy and American character. Friendship (between men, and between man and machine), romantic love, selfless love, patriotism, cowardice, lust, mercy killing, jingoism, idealism, irony, and redemption are all themes touched upon in this engrossing film. It is interesting that its Director, Robert Wise, also directed ''West Side Story'' and ''The Haunting.'' Note that Steve McQueen does his own fighting in the brawl with the Chinese heavies and gets tossed around pretty good. The movie is long, but such quality is worthy of your time. Finally, men and women can both appreciate ''The Sand Pebbles.''
amateurDS More than 1 year ago
I was moved by the performances and the insight into inter cultural relationships in a tumultuous time for China.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago