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Sand Pebbles, The (TCF 1966, Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough)



Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina

Big-budget action drama based on an actual incident in which the Japanese sunk an American gunboat when they invaded China. Primarily remembered for Steve McQueen’s fine performance as a machinist’s mate who angers his fellow Americans by releasing the coolies that did the crew’s chores, and for the screen debut of 20-year-old Candice Bergen. Notable performances from Richard Crenna as the inexperienced lieutenant in command, and Richard Attenborough as a sailor who falls in love with a Chinese prostitute. This was director Robert Wise’s first film after the worldwide success of “The Sound of Music” (1965).

To re-create the look of 1920s China for “The Sand Pebbles”, Twentieth Century Fox technicians worked for weeks to convert two miles of Keeling Harbor in Taiwan to double for Shanghai.

Eight Academy Award Nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Steve McQueen, Best Supporting Actor for Mako, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

production details
Steve McQueen as Jake Holman
Richard Attenborough as Frenchy Burgoyne
Richard Crenna as Captain Collins
Candice Bergen as Shirley Eckert
Mako Iwamatsu as Po-han
Larry Gates as Jameson
Charles Robinson as Ensign Bordelles
Simon Oakland as Stawski
Ford Rainey as Harris
Joe Turkel as Bronson
Gavin MacLeod as Crosley
Joe Di Reda as Shanahan
Richard Loo as Major Chin
Barney Phillips as Franks
James Hong as Victor Shu
Gus Trikonis as Restorff
Emmanuelle Arsan as Maily
Shepherd Sanders as Perna
James Jeter as Farren
Tom Middleton as Jennings
Paul Chun as Cho-jen
Tommy Lee as Chien
Beulah Quo as Mama Chunk
Stephen Jahn as Haythorn
Alan Hopkins as Wilsey
Stephen Ferry as Lamb
Ted Fish as Wellbeck
Loren Janes as Coleman
Glenn R. Wilder as Waldron
Robert Kelly-Schleyer as Bosun’s Mate (uncredited)

Producer and Director: Robert Wise
Director of Photography: Joseph MacDonald
Editor: William H. Reynolds
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Screenwriter: Robert Anderson
Production Designer: Boris Leven

USA | Twentieth Century Fox| 182 minutes | 1966