7.7/10
12,150
106 user 24 critic

The Sand Pebbles (1966)

In 1926, a U.S. Naval engineer gets assigned to a gunboat on a rescue mission in war-torn China.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Richard McKenna (novel), Robert Anderson (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An up-and-coming poker player tries to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master of the game.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson
Nevada Smith (1966)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A half American Indian and half white teenager evolves into a hardened killer as he tracks down his parents' murderers.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Steve McQueen, Karl Malden, Brian Keith
The Hunter (1980)
Action | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of professional bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson.

Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Kathryn Harrold
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke
Tom Horn (1980)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An ex-army scout is hired by ranchers to kill cattle rustlers but he gets into trouble with the corrupt local officials when he kills a boy.

Director: William Wiard
Stars: Steve McQueen, Linda Evans, Richard Farnsworth
The Reivers (1969)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In turn-of-the-century Mississippi, an 11-year-old boy comes of age as two mischievous adult friends talk him into sneaking the family car out for a trip to Memphis and a series of adventures.

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Steve McQueen, Sharon Farrell, Ruth White
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Small squad must hold off German attack.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Steve McQueen, Bobby Darin, Fess Parker
Le Mans (1971)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France. The race goes over 24 hours on 14.5 ... See full summary »

Director: Lee H. Katzin
Stars: Steve McQueen, Siegfried Rauch, Elga Andersen
The Getaway (1972)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A recently released ex-con and his loyal wife go on the run after a heist goes awry.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson
Bullitt (1968)
Certificate: M/PG Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn
Junior Bonner (1972)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ace Bonner returns to Arizona several years after he abandoned his family, Junior Bonner is a wild young man. Against the typical rodeo championship, family drama erupts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A scientist stands against an entire town when he discovers their medicinal spa is polluted.

Director: George Schaefer
Stars: Steve McQueen, Bibi Andersson, Charles Durning
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve McQueen ... Jake Holman
Richard Attenborough ... Frenchy Burgoyne
Richard Crenna ... Captain Collins
Candice Bergen ... Shirley Eckert
Emmanuelle Arsan ... Maily (as Marayat Andriane)
Mako ... Po-han
Larry Gates ... Jameson
Charles Robinson Charles Robinson ... Ensign Bordelles
Simon Oakland ... Stawski
Ford Rainey ... Harris
Joe Turkel ... Bronson
Gavin MacLeod ... Crosley
Joe Di Reda Joe Di Reda ... Shanahan (as Joseph di Reda)
Richard Loo ... Major Chin
Barney Phillips Barney Phillips ... Franks
Edit

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 »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

20 December 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El Yang-Tsé en llamas See more »

Filming Locations:

Taipei City, Taiwan See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (BBFC submission before censorship) | (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Production was already well underway when someone watching the rushes, casually commented that Steve McQueen "dressed right" referring to the position of his quite noticeable male bulge, traditionally flaunted by genuine seamen, but usually suppressed by Hollywood, especially after the introduction of the Production Code. Of course, it was too late for retakes, but for the rest of the movie, McQueen's underwear is apparently tight enough to prevent any further sightings. Whether McQueen was just trying to be authentic, or doing his own brand of upstaging, or both, we shall never know. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jake Holman: I told you not to talk to sailors, didn't I?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SHANGHAI See more »

Alternate Versions

The original "roadshow" version ran 196 minutes; later cut to its present length (182 minutes) for its general release. The roadshow version was included in a 2007 special edition DVD release, which provided the first viewing of this version since the original 1966 release. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A beautiful film
1 July 2005 | by stpetebeachSee all my reviews

I get tired of hearing how "they don't make them like that any more," but it's hard to imagine THE SAND PEBBLES being made today. If a current movie is three hours long, you can bet it's because the director has fallen in love with himself, not because the material merits it. THE SAND PEBBLES succeeds on just about every level: It is a compelling and complex story; it is beautifully filmed; the acting is mostly excellent; and there is a tremendous score. (Can you imagine a film today having an overture? Rampant adult ADD prohibits it.) The three hours gives you time to get to know the characters, sink into the Chinese setting, and become involved in the story. Just a little thing to notice, right at the start: Watch how McQueen fiddles with his napkin in the formal dining room. He's out of place, and doesn't know what to do with it; it's the kind of physical bit that McQueen does so well to elaborate his character. Credit must also be given to the late Richard Crenna. His captain of the San Pablo is a complex and conflicted character, and Crenna, while carrying off a largely formal role, delivers a very nuanced and moving performance. THE SAND PEBBLES is a movie for grown-ups, largely forgotten today but well worth your time.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 106 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed