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   10,580 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 6% 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:
Perfect in every respect, "The Sand Pebbles" defines great storytelling. See more (101 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Steve McQueen ... Jake Holman

Richard Attenborough ... Frenchy Burgoyne

Candice Bergen ... Shirley Eckert

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
 
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


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for violence and sexual material (re-rating) (2000)
Runtime:
182 min | UK:196 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) | 4-Track Stereo
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Australia:A (original rating) | 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 | Taiwan:R-12 (2016) | 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?

Trivia:
This Twentieth Century Fox release marked their switch from their own Cinemascope process to Panavision.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: After Holman finds Frenchie dead, and the Chinese men grab Maily, after knocking Holman out and running down the stairs you can see a stunt double for Maily is a man.See more »
Quotes:
Frenchy Burgoyne:[exchanging marriage vows; slowly and with feeling] We're mixing our lives together, Maily, and we'll never be able to unmix them again, and we'll never want to. I take you for what you are, and all that you are, and mix you with all of me, and I don't hold back nothing. When you're cold, and hungry, and afraid, so am I. I'm going to stay with you all that I can, take the best care of you that I can, and love you 'til I die.
Maily:I will always love you and honor you and serve you, and stay as near to you as I can, and do everything for you, and live for you. I won't have *any* life except our life together. I will just love you, Frenchy, all of me, loving you forever.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool (2005) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Sleepy Time GalSee more »

FAQ

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70 out of 82 people found the following review useful.
Perfect in every respect, "The Sand Pebbles" defines great storytelling., 30 May 2004
Author: raymond_chandler from Seattle, WA

I am watching the DVD of "The Sand Pebbles" for the first time. I originally saw this film as a child, during its theatrical run. Even though I have watched the P&S VHS tape many times, the DVD takes me back to that unforgettable first viewing so many years ago. This film is the definitive example of how pan and scan (laughably called "fullscreen") is nothing less than a desecration of the work of those who make movies. Thank goodness there is finally a faithful transfer of this unforgettable story.

I love movies, some much more than others. Even in the films that I love the most, the ones I consider "the best", I can always find flaws or weaknesses. I can not find a single thing to criticize in "The Sand Pebbles". The cinematography, as many others have noted, is exceptional. The detail of the sets, the ship, the costumes, the panoramic vistas, all are very convincing. As Crenna points out in the DVD commentary, there is no visual trickery, everything on the screen is real and three-dimensional. I have not read the source novel, and I am woefully ignorant of the political realities in China in this period, although I understand that the book was based on real incidents. The fact is, the story told here is compelling, and it does not matter to me how true to history it is, the world depicted in "The Sand Pebbles" is real and believable. Robert Anderson's script provides sufficient grounding in the political events to keep the audience engaged, without becoming all awkward exposition or political treatise. Of course, the characters express certain strong views, and therein the conflict arises.

Robert Wise is a first-rank director ("West Side Story", "The Haunting", "The Sound of Music"), and his work here is superlative. This film is a blend of epic-scale scenes and intimate, poignant moments of emotional realism. The camera placement, the use of extras and props, the blocking of the actors, the use of natural light, the tracking shots of the boat, all are in service of the story. Wise lets that story breathe and the characters emerge, and the result is a three-hour movie. How ironic that the main criticism leveled at "The Sand Pebbles" is that it is "slow" and "boring". Excuse me, but this is called "character development", and it sets compelling moviemaking apart from the mediocre variety. The pacing is what draws you in to this world, where the actors can give their characters life and create empathy in the audience. I can only feel sadness for the modern, ADD-afflicted viewer who is trained to respond to manipulative tricks, and can not appreciate a realistic depiction of human behavior.

Much has been said in these comments about the acting, and I agree with those who feel McQueen and Crenna stand out. The character of the captain could have been a rigid cliche, but Crenna gives us a person, a man to whom duty and service is everything, yet who is keenly aware of the needs and temperament of his crew, and who yearns to leave his mark in history. As for McQueen...his physical presence dominates the film. His understated style is perfect for Holman, a man who only wants to be left alone to do his work, and yet who will fight against injustices done to others. His facial expressions, especially in his eyes, allow us to share his thoughts and feelings throughout the movie.

The most memorable element in "The Sand Pebbles" for me is the musical score by Jerry Goldsmith. Alternately stirring and heartrending, it complements each scene absolutely brilliantly, and is the most evocative score of any motion picture I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the 1966 Oscar went to "Born Free", a mediocre picture whose title song was a hugely popular hit.

I feel privileged that I was able to see "The Sand Pebbles" in a theatre, where it is meant to be seen. This DVD version finally does justice to what I regard as an unparalleled achievement in filmmaking. There are other films that I have a stronger attachment to for various reasons, but none of them hit a home run in every department the way that "The Sand Pebbles" does.

"Water belong dead stim -all same dead stim"

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