IMDb > The Sand Pebbles (1966)
The Sand Pebbles
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Sand Pebbles (1966) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 30 | slideshow) Videos
The Sand Pebbles -- 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.


User Rating:
7.7/10   9,887 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard McKenna (novel)
Robert Anderson (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Sand Pebbles on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 December 1966 (USA) See more »
THE STORY OF who disturbed the sleeping dragon of China as the world watched in terror! See more »
Engineer Jake Holman arrives aboard the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo, assigned to patrol a tributary of... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Throughly enjoyable. See more (100 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Steve McQueen ... Jake Holman

Candice Bergen ... Shirley Eckert

Richard Attenborough ... Frenchy Burgoyne

Richard Crenna ... Captain Collins
Emmanuelle Arsan ... Maily (as Marayat Andriane)

Mako ... Po-han
Larry Gates ... Jameson
Charles Robinson ... Ensign Bordelles

Simon Oakland ... Stawski
Ford Rainey ... Harris

Joe Turkel ... Bronson

Gavin MacLeod ... Crosley
Joe Di Reda ... Shanahan (as Joseph di Reda)
Richard Loo ... Major Chin

Barney Phillips ... Franks

Gus Trikonis ... Restorff
Shepherd Sanders ... Perna
James Jeter ... Farren
Tom Middleton ... Jennings
Paul Chun ... Cho-jen (as Paul Chinpae)
Tommy Lee ... Chien
Beulah Quo ... Mama Chunk

James Hong ... Victor Shu
Stephen Jahn ... Haythorn
Alan Hopkins ... Wilsey (as Jay Allan Hopkins)
Stephen Ferry ... Lamb (as Steve Ferry)
Ted Fish ... Wellbeck

Loren Janes ... Coleman
Glenn R. Wilder ... Waldron (as Glenn Wilder)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Bald bespectacled man at Red Kettle Bar (uncredited)
Larry Duran ... Brawler at Red Kettle Bar (uncredited)

Robert Kelly-Schleyer ... Bosun's Mate (uncredited)
Jon Lormer ... Hamilton (uncredited)
Gil Perkins ... Customer at Red Kettle Bar (uncredited)
Walter Reed ... Bidder at Red Kettle Bar (uncredited)
Henry Wang ... Lop-eye Shing (uncredited)
Ben Wright ... Englishman (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Wise 
Writing credits
Richard McKenna (novel)

Robert Anderson (screenplay)

Produced by
Charles H. Maguire .... associate producer (as Charles Maguire)
Robert Wise .... producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Joseph MacDonald 
Film Editing by
William Reynolds 
Production Design by
Boris Leven 
Set Decoration by
William Kiernan 
Walter M. Scott 
John Sturtevant 
Costume Design by
Renié  (as Renie)
Makeup Department
Del Acevedo .... makeup artist
Margaret Donovan .... hair stylist
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
William Turner .... makeup artist (as Bill Turner)
Sharleen Rassi .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Jay Sebring .... hair designer: Steve McQueen (uncredited)
Production Management
Saul Wurtzel .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ridgeway Callow .... assistant director
Charles H. Maguire .... second unit director (as Charles Maguire)
Robert F. Liu .... first assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Herbert Cheek .... location construction supervisor
Tom Jung .... graphic designer (uncredited)
Dong Kingman .... watercolor artist (uncredited)
Dennis J. Parrish .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bernard Freericks .... sound
Murray Spivack .... sound
Douglas O. Williams .... sound
Special Effects by
Gerald Endler .... special effects (as Jerry Endler)
Visual Effects by
L.B. Abbott .... special photographic effects
Travis Dutch .... digital restoration scanning (restored version)
Emil Kosa Jr. .... special photographic effects
Larry Duran .... stunts (uncredited)
Loren Janes .... stunt double: Steve McQueen (uncredited)
Loren Janes .... stunts (uncredited)
Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Saito .... stunts (uncredited)
Glenn R. Wilder .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Dick Johnson .... photographer: second unit (as Richard Johnson)
Thomas Del Ruth .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Dave Friedman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Clyde Taylor .... gaffer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ed Wynigear .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
David Bernstein .... colorist: digitally restored version (uncredited)
Music Department
Lionel Newman .... conductor
David Tamkin .... orchestrator
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Harley Misiner .... technical advisor
Irving Schwartz .... diversions
Maurice Zuberano .... production associate
Alan Callow .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for violence and sexual material (re-rating) (2000)
182 min | UK:196 min (BBFC submission before censorship) | Sweden:193 min | USA:196 min (roadshow version)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System) | Mono (35 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:16 | Ireland:15 | Norway:16 | Norway:11 (DVD rating) (2006) | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (cut) | UK:12 (2007) | UK:15 (1988) | USA:Approved (certificate #21310) | USA:PG-13 (re-rating) (2000) | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Before the film premiered in New York City Twentieth Century-Fox set up a publicity tour for Steve McQueen to promote it. McQueen made rare TV appearances on the "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1948) (aka "The Ed Sullivan Show"), "What's My Line?" (1950) and "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962).See more »
Continuity: When the San Pablo first gets underway Holman is wearing a clean set of dungarees, yet in the next shot when he is noticing an engine problem, he is wearing old, worn and dirty dungarees with no undershirt.See more »
Captain Collins:Do you know what this is? Desertion in the face of the enemy.
Jake Holman:I don't got no more enemies. Shove off, Captain.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006)See more »
Sleepy Time GalSee more »


What and why are they chanting?
See more »
43 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
Throughly enjoyable., 28 March 2003
Author: barberoux from Philadelphia

"The Sand Pebbles" was a throughly enjoyable movie. The setting was exotic and the story engaging. Though it starred Steve McQueen, who did an excellent job, its strength was the ensemble acting with a very talented cast including Richard Crenna, Richard Attenborough, Mako and Candice Bergen. The story was nicely involved and, though it portrayed the sailor's prejudices, did not feel condescending toward the Chinese as many war-type movies do. The men were caught up in the turbulent times and many of the conflicts portrayed seem to come more from troubled psyches. It is not Ramboish macho crap. I found the portrayals of the people and times entertaining. I had read the book so maybe I read more into the movie than others seeing it cold. It was a very good movie and well worth a watch.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (100 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Sand Pebbles (1966)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Richard Crenna on Steve McQueen's performance Homang-come-down
Where can I get this on DVD? wulff9
Did the navy issue... jakholman
Harris in the battle scene jakholman
Am I the only one to find it sooo boring? Epapadaki
a casting oddity coop-16
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Glory The Three Musketeers A Bridge Too Far The Longest Day
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Adventure section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.