IMDb > The Sand Pebbles (1966)
The Sand Pebbles
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The Sand Pebbles (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   8,503 votes »
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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Richard McKenna (novel)
Robert Anderson (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Sand Pebbles on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 December 1966 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
THE STORY OF MEN...men who disturbed the sleeping dragon of China as the world watched in terror! See more »
Plot:
Engineer Jake Holman arrives aboard the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo, assigned to patrol a tributary of... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Definitive McQueen Performance See more (93 total) »

Cast

  (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)
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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
 
Stunts
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


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for violence and sexual material (re-rating) (2000)
Runtime:
182 min | UK:243 min (BBFC submission before censorship) | Sweden:193 min | USA:196 min (roadshow version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
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)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:16 | Norway:16 | Norway:11 (DVD rating) (2006) | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | UK:A (original rating) (cut) | UK:12 (2007) | USA:PG-13 | USA:Approved (certificate #21310) (original rating) | USA:PG-13 (re-rating) (2000) | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The steam engine was located in California and renovated for the film. The whole engine room was built around it, on a sound stage.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: During one of the scenes where the San Pablo is in danger of being boarded by hostile Chinese, the crewmen are issued Springfield rifles. But they are not given any ammunition belts. Even if the rifles were loaded, which they would not normally be while in storage, they would hold only five cartridges (six with a round in the chamber). Such a limited supply of ammo would not have been enough to turn back the large number of Chinese if they had attempted to board the ship.See more »
Quotes:
Jake Holman:[Last Lines] I was home. What happened? What the hell happened?See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool (2005) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Sleepy Time GalSee more »

FAQ

MIDWEST PREMIERE HAPPENED WHEN?
See more »
68 out of 77 people found the following review useful.
The Definitive McQueen Performance, 7 June 2001
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon

Steve McQueen was known for many things-- action films, fast cars, motorcycles, a charismatic presence (on screen and off), and his true `tough guy' persona. But with this film, another description moves to the top of that list: Actor. Anyone who doubts what a great actor McQueen was need only watch this film, because his performance here as Jake Holman is simply as good as it gets. `The Sand Pebbles, ` directed by Robert Wise, is the story of Holman, a sailor assigned to the U.S. Gunboat, `San Pablo,' stationed on the Yangtze River in China in 1926 (the sailors aboard are known as `sand pebbles'). It's primary function is to patrol the river and thereby establish an American presence in China, a country currently experiencing a period of political unrest and impending upheaval. It's a new assignment for Holman, and it suits him just fine; his job is to keep the ship's engines up and running, and because of the size of the ship, he's the only engineer-- it's just Jake and his engine. And that's the way he likes it. Holman is a loner by nature, and something of an iconoclast. At one point, when he is asked his opinion of American Foreign Policy and their presence in China, he simply says, `I don't mess with it. It's all look-see-pidgin, somethin' for the officers.'

Eventually, however, Holman is nevertheless drawn into the conflict through a series of events that impact him beyond all personal resistance, the most significant being when American lives are threatened throughout China, and Holman and a landing party are sent ashore to protect and escort some missionaries back to the safety of the San Pablo. But at the mission, Holman discovers a way of life, the likes of which he's never known, and for the first time ever, he realizes a sense of belonging. And he likes it. For Holman, however, it may be too late; the political turmoil throughout the country has put the lives of everyone at the mission in peril, including a young missionary named Shirley Eckert (Candice Bergen), with whom Holman has made a connection he simply cannot dispel; for in Shirley, he discerns an innocence and a goodness that compels him, and in which he finds a welcome sense of fulfillment. So what began as a routine mission becomes a salient point in Holman's life, and he is faced with the most important decision he's ever had to make.

This is the one for which McQueen should have won an Oscar. As Holman, he demonstrates an emotional range and depth that runs the gamut from almost boyish naivete to a world weary veteran of life who has seen and heard it all. Utterly convincing, he can say more with a slight incline of his head, a slow blink or shifting of his eyes than most actors could say with reams of dialogue at their disposal. He communicates with so much more than words, and there's meaning in everything he says and does-- he never wastes a line or a single moment. What he does with this role is magnificent; it's the definitive McQueen performance. His Holman is the personification of the loner, and in creating him he delivers something few actors could ever equal: He's tough, convincing and charming-- all at the same time. And he should've taken home The Statue for it.

As Collins, the Captain of the San Pablo, Richard Crenna gives one of his finest performances, as well, and it cemented his transition from television actor to a career on the big screen. After this, there was no going back. His portrayal of the somber, introspective Captain is riveting, and in him you readily perceive Collins' sense of duty and honor, as well as his overwhelming sense of futility and failure. And the urgency with which he grasps his chance for redemption, even in the face of insurmountable odds, is entirely believable as it is consistent with the character he has created.

The superlative supporting cast includes Richard Attenborough (Frenchy), Emmanuelle Arsan (Maily), Mako (Po-han), Larry Gates (Jameson), Charles Robinson (Bordelles), Simon Oakland (Stawski), Ford Rainey (Harris), Joe Turkel (Bronson) and Gavin MacLeod (Crosley). A powerful drama, extremely well crafted and presented by Wise, `The Sand Pebbles' is a great and memorable film that will forever stand as the pinnacle of McQueen's successful career. Jake Holman is a character you will never forget, because there is something of him-- that wistful longing to belong, perhaps-- in all of us. A timeless classic among classics, this is one of the greatest motion pictures of all time, and is by definition, the magic of the movies. I rate this one 10/10.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Sand Pebbles (1966)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Holman Should Have Gone Down. drjeff21
Am I the only one to find it sooo boring? Epapadaki
Harris in the battle scene jakholman
The end of the film phillipsdan83
End of movie-warning *spoiler* bm206996
Captain Collins tigersbb
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