Steve McQueen in Hong Kong

Steve McQueen in Hong Kong

Joined: July 24th, 2015, 3:19 am

May 31st, 2018, 9:11 am #1

Recently came across this article from 2016:


[i]Fifty years ago this month, Hollywood legend Steve McQueen was in Hong Kong with his family and a large film crew, to shoot scenes for The Sand Pebbles, the hugely successful movie about an American gunboat patrolling the inland waters of revolutionary China.

Filming was undertaken mostly in Sai Kung, where the USS San Pablo, a replica American gunboat, engaged in a large maritime battle. Local filming took less than eight weeks but it made a significant impact on the city, which in turn left an indelible mark on the movie. Press reports and interviews from that period also reveal a little of the latent character of McQueen, the so-called King of Cool, a charismatic but troubled and insecure movie icon.

The Sand Pebbles, directed by Oscar-winning Robert Wise, who later described it as "the most difficult film I ever made", is based on the 1962 best-selling novel by Richard McKenna, which topped the New York Times best-seller list for 28 weeks. It's the colourful tale of the hard-bitten crew of the San Pablo, an antique gunboat patrolling the Yangtze River that becomes entangled in the patriotic fervour and social instability of post-revolutionary, 1920s China. The captain, played by Richard Crenna, and the ship's company have to navigate maritime, romantic and diplomatic hazards as they attempt to fulfil their duty during the early, fragmented days of the Chinese Republic. That duty includes protecting resident American missionaries, including an enchanting and vulnerable schoolteacher, Shirley Eckert, played by 19-year-old Candice Bergen.[/i]

More:
http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-maga ... -hong-kong


And this from Wikipedia:

Filming:

[i]The Sand Pebbles was filmed both in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Its filming, which began on November 22, 1965, at Keelung, was scheduled to take about nine weeks, but it ended up taking seven months. The cast and crew took a break for the Christmas holidays at Tamsui, Taipei.

At one point a 15-foot camera boat capsized on the Keelung River, setting back the schedule because the soundboard was ruined when it sank. When the filming was finally completed in Taiwan, the government of the Republic of China held several members of the crew, including McQueen and his family, supposedly "hostage" by keeping their passports because of unpaid additional taxes. In March 1966 the filming moved to the Shaw Brothers studios in Hong Kong for three months, mainly for scenes in Sai Kung and Tung Chung, and then, in June, it travelled to Hollywood to finish its interior scenes at the Fox Studios.

Due to frequent rain and other difficulties in Hong Kong, the filming was nearly abandoned. When he returned to Los Angeles McQueen fell ill because he had an abscessed molar. He had not wanted to see a dentist until he returned to California. His dentist and physician ordered him to take an extended period of rest—one that halted production again for weeks.[/i]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sand_ ... film)#Cast


Interesting that Steve McQueen was in Hong Kong filming The Sand Pebbles right around the time Bruce was in the US getting ready to do The Green Hornet.
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Joined: July 24th, 2015, 3:19 am

May 31st, 2018, 8:48 pm #2

In 1973, Steve McQueen was filming the movie Papillon beginning in late February and finishing up in early June 1973. This was around the same time as Bruce was working on ETD.

For Papillon, McQueen traveled to Jamaica as well as Spain for filming. It was only a month after McQueen finished making Papillon that Bruce died. I think they might have corresponded with each other during their shooting schedules, but I don't think they ever got together during that time, which is a shame.

Because ETD was released in August, and Papillon released in December 1973, ETD out-grossed Papillon for that year, making Bruce's dream of being a bigger star than McQueen come true. In some ways Bruce is still a bigger star than McQueen.

Along with The Sand Pebbles, Papillon is considered among Steve McQueen's greatest acting roles. McQueen was nominated for an Oscar for both roles.

A remake of Papillon has been made and is scheduled for release in August 2018. I doubt it will be as good as the original.

More on the relationship between Bruce Lee and Steve McQueen:

http://fightland.vice.com/blog/pranks-p ... -bruce-lee
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