7.7/10
11,209
103 user 20 critic

The Sand Pebbles (1966)

In 1926, an US naval engineer gets assigned to a gunboat on a rescue mission in war-torn China.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Emmanuelle Arsan ...
Maily (as Marayat Andriane)
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Charles Robinson ...
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Bronson
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Joe Di Reda ...
Shanahan (as Joseph di Reda)
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Major Chin
...
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Storyline

Engineer Jake Holman arrives aboard the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo, assigned to patrol a tributary of the Yangtze in the middle of exploited and revolution-torn 1926 China. His iconoclasm and cynical nature soon clash with the "rice-bowl" system which runs the ship and the uneasy symbiosis between Chinese and foreigner on the river. Hostility towards the gunboat's presence reaches a climax when the boat must crash through a river-boom and rescue missionaries upriver at China Light Mission. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the heroic story of the men on the U.S.S. San Pablo who disturbed the sleeping dragon of savage China as the threatened world watched in breathless terror See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 December 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Yang-Tsé en llamas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,017,647, 31 January 1968
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (BBFC submission before censorship) | (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening scenes were shot on the battleship USS Texas in Houston, Texas. These shots of Machinist Mate First Class Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) transferring off the battleship did not make it into the final print. See more »

Goofs

When Hollman reports aboard San Pablo, he salutes twice, once ostensibly for the National Ensign and once to the Officer of the Deck. As it is after dark, the Ensign is not flying and there is no saluting it. See more »

Quotes

Jake Holman: I was home. What happened? What the hell happened?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a credit for 'Diversions by Irving Schwartz' in tribute to a mysterious, unknown correspondent whose letters proved a morale booster to cast and crew during trying location work in Hong Kong and Taiwan. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Nostalgia Chick: The Worst Witch (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleepy Time Gal
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and Ange Lorenzo
Lyrics by Ray Egan and Joseph R. Alden
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Movie!
12 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is just one exceptional movie. One of my all time classics.

An examination of the little-known or understood tensions and political ramifications of being aboard an American gunboat, in the 1920's, in the China backwater.

The atmosphere and the story are superb.

Steve McQueen has never been better as Jake Holman, a hard-nosed American sailor, with his own code of right and wrong. His character absolutely dominates the movie. This is the type of character he was born to play.

Richard Crenna's ship Captain was perfect: smug, self-involved, deluded about his patriotism, but a decent man caught in a confusing, thankless, possibly deadly situation.

The rest of the cast in this is tremendous, especially Richard Attenborough, Candace Bergen, Simon Oakland, and Mako.

An absolutely superior film!


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