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1966 film revolving about an American gunboat in China during 1926
The Sand Pebbles

The Sand Pebbles is a 1966 American war film directed by Robert Wise in Panavision. It tells the story of an independent, rebellious U.S. Navy machinist's mate, first class aboard the fictional gunboat USS San Pablo in 1920s China.

Cast and Crew

Richard AttenboroughFrenchy Burgoyne
Candice BergenShirley Eckert
Richard CrennaCaptain Collins
Larry GatesJameson
Steve McQueenJake Holman
Robert WiseDirector, producer

Video Products

The Sand Pebbles (1966), 15 May 2001
The Sand Pebbles (Blu-ray), 3 Jun 2008
The Sand Pebbles (Two-Disc Special Edition), 5 Jun 2007

Memorable Scenes

The missionary Jameson confronts Captain Collins
Jameson: Lieutenant Collins, it would be much better for all of us if you go away at once. We have no intention of leaving.
Collins: Your lives are in danger.
Jameson: You shouldn't have come here.
Collins: Jameson, you're to come back with me.
Jameson: (shakes head)
Collins: You have five minutes to pack whatever you need.
Collins: You've heard about Nanking?
Jameson: Yes, but those events have no bearing here. You alone endanger us. I must ask you to leave now.
Collins: My duty is to protect you.
Jameson: No longer. ... We've declared ourselves stateless persons. We've sent out names to Geneva.
Collins: That's impossible.
Jameson: (handing papers) Read this.
Jameson: With that signed declaration we have renounced nationality itself. Your uniform gives you no authority over us and no responsibility for us.
Collins: This is romantic nonsense.
Collins: This afternoon my ship fought its way through down there at the boom. You are not going to make that a futile and meaningless battle.
Jameson: We will not serve to give meaning to your heroics. Our lives have their own meaning. We have renounced nationality!
Collins: It will not be a student militia who comes for you now, but regular troops . Miss Eckert, they will strip you and rape you. And then this whole valley will be destroyed when our country comes to avenge your death. Do you want that?
Shirley: You don't know them.
Jameson: What have you ever cared for Chinese women raped and butchered by the warlord troops you favor with your unequal treaties? In heaven's name, leave us alone!
Collins: That's enough! Holman, help them get their things together.
Holman: No, sir.
Collins: That's an order.
Holman: You better get back to the ship, Captain, 'cause they're staying and so am I.
Collins: Do you know what this is? Desertion in the face of the enemy.
Holman: I ain't got no more enemies. Shove off, Captain.
(Chinese student comes in running, talks to Jameson in the middle of the court.)
Jameson: Shirley, he says Cho-Jen is dead.
Shirley: Oh, no. No.
Jameson: (looking at Collins) You killed him at the boom. And now they're coming for me, because of you and your blind pride. (shakes head) Damn your flag. Damn all flags. (crying) It's too late in the world for flags.


Doug Casey on the Silver Screen, by Doug Casey, Louis James, 17 Feb 2010
Brief reviews of many movies and some TV series
Doug: I haven't seen [Gandhi]. But another actor comes to mind who had very few clinkers: Steve McQueen. His movies don't necessarily have a lot of ideological import, but I've enjoyed them. My favorite by him is probably The Sand Pebbles, in which he plays a China sailor during the Boxer Rebellion. Did you that one?
L: No.
Doug: It's fantastic. A very good movie I recommend highly.
(Note: the Boxer Rebellion took place between 1898 and 1901, The Sand Pebbles takes place in the 1920s).
Related Topics: Casablanca, Hombre, Star Wars

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Sand Pebbles (film)" as of 12 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.