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The Sand Pebbles

Special Edition

DVD

4.7 out of 5 stars 566 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Politics and low tide hold a U.S. gunboat on China's Yangtze River in 1926.

Amazon.com

Following the success of The Sound of Music, director Robert Wise chose to film Robert McKenna's prize-winning 1962 novel, The Sand Pebbles--an ambitious choice for a director at the peak of his career. Shot in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the film combines historical sweep and intimate human drama in several parallel stories, all revolving around U.S. Navy machinist's mate Jake Holman (Steve McQueen). Holman is a skillful but fiercely independent sailor who joins the "sand pebble" crew of the U.S.S. San Pablo, a Navy gunboat patrolling the Yangtze River on the eve of the Chinese revolution in 1926. The San Pablo's inexperienced captain (Richard Crenna) obsessively defends the Navy's mission--however unnecessary or unwanted--to protect American missionaries and businessmen, blind to the more dangerous implications of American involvement with China's opposing political factions.

Holman is a defiant voice of humanity in this clash between outmoded values and inevitable change; his final line of dialogue ("What the hell happened?") is a tragic summation of misguided policy, expressing the film's criticism of the Vietnam War. Rather than preach, however, Wise lets McKenna's potent drama emerge from finely-drawn relationships--between Holman and a young American teacher (19-year-old Candice Bergen, in her second film); between Holman and the Chinese "coolie" (Mako) whose heartbreaking fate transcends all issues of racial or political difference; and between crewmate "Frenchy" Burgoyne (Richard Attenborough) and the Chinese woman he's sworn to love and protect at all costs. Combined with the film's colorful supporting cast, adventurous scope, and climactic battle scenes, these personal dynamics bring substance and spirit to a complex story of good intentions gone awry. --Jeff Shannon

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Special features

  • Disc 1:
  • Anamorphic Widescreen Feature (Theatrical Version)
  • Audio Commentary by Director Robert Wise and actors Candice Bergen, Mako & Richard Crenna
  • Isolated score and FX with commentary by Music Producer Nick Redman, Film Music Historian Jon Burlingame, Screenwriter (The Limey, Dark City) and Film Historian Lem Dobbs
  • Disc 2 (Side A):
  • Roadshow Version Feature
  • Robert Wise Roadshow Intro
  • Richard Zanuck Roadshow Intro
  • Disc 2 (Side B):
  • "The Making Of Sand Pebbles" Featurettes (view individually or play all)
  • Side Bars:
  • Steve McQueen Remembered
  • Robert Wise In Command
  • China 1926
  • From FOX Vault:
  • A Ship Called SAN PABLO- Narrated by Richard Attenborough
  • The Secret of the SAN PABLO- Narrated by Richard Crenna
  • Radio Documentaries Narrated by Richard Attenborough:
  • Changsha Bund and the Streets of Taipei
  • A Ship Called SAN PABLO
  • Radio Spots:
  • 2:00 of audio over static image
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries
  • MAD Magazine's THE "SAM PEBBLES"

Product details

  • Actors: Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Candice Bergen, Richard Crenna, Emmanuelle Arsan
  • Directors: Robert Wise
  • Writers: Richard McKenna, Robert Anderson
  • Producers: Robert Wise, Charles H. Maguire
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 4.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 182 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 566 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000O78L00
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "The Sand Pebbles" on IMDb

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