The Sand Pebbles (1966)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.

USA, 1966, .  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Robert Wise followed his mammothly successful The Sound Of Music with this giant war epic.  Steve McQueen plays an engineer who boards a gunboat in 1920s China, rife with anger and resentment between Chinese and white sailors aboard. China itself is being torn apart by revolution, and the members of this boat have no choice but to get involved when they are required to travel up a dangerously guarded river to save a group of missionaries (one of them being an adorable and young Candice Bergen).  McQueen is stalwart in the lead, while Richard Attenborough brings a lot of drama to his supporting role as a sailor who falls in love with a prostitute. It’s all very respectable stuff, but it also feels like it goes on forever.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Actor (Steve McQueen); Best Supporting Actor (Mako); Best Cinematography-Colour; Best Art Direction-Colour; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Original Music Score

Golden Globe Award:  Best Supporting Actor (Richard Attenborough)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Steve McQueen); Best Supporting Actor (Mako); Best Director (Robert Wise); Best Screenplay; Best Original Score

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