The Sand PebblesDirector: Robert Wise
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.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- 20th Century Fox
- Region Code:
- [Wide Screen]
- [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|Steve McQueen||Jake Holman|
|Richard Attenborough||Frenchy Burgoyne|
|Richard Crenna||Lt. Collins|
|Candice Bergen||Shirley Eckert|
|Richard Loo||Maj. Chin|
|Barney Phillips||Chief Franks|
|Beulah Quo||Mama Chunk|
|James Hong||Victor Shu|
|Ted Fish||CPO Wellbeck|
|Joe di Reda||Shanahan|
|Charles Knox Robinson||Ensign Bordelles|
|Jerry Endler||Special Effects|
|Jerry Goldsmith||Score Composer|
|William Kiernan||Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design|
|Boris Leven||Production Designer|
|Lionel Newman||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|William H. Reynolds||Editor|
|Walter Scott||Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design|
|John Sturtevant||Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The setting is breathtaking, the movie is unforgettable! Steve at his best! Got to go Holman!
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Great story, Great actors, Great musical score.
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.''
I was moved by the performances and the insight into inter cultural relationships in a tumultuous time for China.