Mucho Gracias for being so Christ-like to send me your quick response. As I may have said, several months ago I stumbled across a retired Chiefy who was in China during the late '30s and he 's the one who told me that Jack Warden was on the Oahu at the time. I'd like this verified before putting it into print of course. Your idea was great, never occurred to me -- maybe I can ask Warden himself via his Homepage .
Surely you know (I never did) that Richard McKenna was on the Oahu in the '30s (this same Chief educated me on this too). Had I been familar with your group I undoubtedly would've known this a long time ago. My interest in the Oahu is because Dad served on her in the late '20s. Indeed, he told absolutely wild ass stories about the life of both the Yangtze River Sailormen & Chinamen. Then in the late '30s he returned to China for duty on the Isabel (more wild ass stories, like the Rape of Nanking and sinking of the Panay). Mom and I lived in Shanghai when he was on the Isabel.
Dad died in '67 and the last book he read was "The Sand Pebbles". He said it was the bestest book he ever read, accurately protrayed the times to a tee.
I've got another month or two to put the final touches on the article (like rounding up a couple of Dad's photos of those adventurous times). When I finish it I'll send you a copy for your "Whatever It's Worth Column".
Again, Many Thanks & I'll periodically be "reading the mail" on your great site.My Bestest,
Just stumbled across your velly, velly interesting Website. So far I haven't read any details on just how a bloke joins your magnificant group.
Anywho, maybe you can give me a hand on something I've been trying to verify. My late father, Leo "Cy" Sypek , CWO spent 31 years on active duty, two tours which were on the Yangtze River Patrol (the 'Oahu' in the '20s & the 'Isabel' in the '30s). He told fantabulous 'sea stories' of his adventures in China. I thought it about time that I document some of these, thus I'm now completing an unsolicited manuscript which I intend to submit to "Naval History" magazine. During my research I spoke to a retired Chiefy who was on the Oahu in the '30s & he told me something I'd like to verify before I put it in my article.
OK, here's my question: He told me that the movie & TV actor, Jack Warden, was on the Oahu in the late '30s. I checked out Warden's Website and found no reference to this supposed fact.
So, in all your dialogues with the Old China Hands, has any sailorman ever mentioned to you that Warden was on this gunboat? (Incidently, Warden's now 80 years old & still active in the theater).Mucho Gracias for any help.
Hi my name is Sally :)
The Sand Pebbles is my father's favourite movie. It is Father's Day in Australia this weekend, and what i would really like to get him is a copy of the movie on VHS video cassette.
I went into Borders bookstore that has recently opened in Sydney, and they said it was unavailable in Australia, but if I could get the number of it... I think the CG something number that they would be able to order it in for me.
I wouldn't have a clue what this number is or where I would find it. I was wondering if you would have any idea? I really really want to find this for my dad as it would mean the world to him. I've searched around a few places on the internet with no success. I can only find reviews etc.
Please let me know if you have the number of the movie anywhere,
Thanks heaps,Sally :)
I just remembered I have the SP book I bought in the black market in Taipei during filming. I had the entire cast and crew sign the book. A lot of the guys then went out and bought the book too and then took it to everyone else to sign for their personal collection!
I have a dozen or more photos (some large, some small) of McQueen (one large one is of him signing the book as he sits next to Candy (oops, Candice :-) with me. Others of Steve and me shooting a bb pistol I brought to the set (San Pablo), playing 'grab ass' on the Getaway set, etc. Somewhere I have an old 8mm home video of Steve coming out to the San Pablo on one of the small delivery boats, I remember yelling at him from the deck something like, "Hey big shot, smile for the camera." He is seen clearly 'flipping me off' with a big McQueen grin on his face!
Memories are flooding back!
I remember how Si (Simon Oakland) 'took me under his wing' as I was learning the fine skills of 7 card stud poker with the cast (I was losing my shorts:-). Simon was a really good guy who I saw in a dozen tv shows well after the SP was released. Jim Jeter was another great guy. I believe he went back to school and got his law degree and practices in LA. His wife was Candy's photo double in Taipei.
I recall the scene was being set up for the meeting between Jake and Candy. They were off in make-up or somewhere. Mr. Wise had us go through the motions while lighting, sound, cameras, etc., were being attended to. This was the point in the film where Candy is trying to persuade Jake to go AWOL. There was a kissing scene.
When Candy and Steve came on the set, Mr. Wise had us run through the motions. Then, it was the 'stars' turn. Steve was uneasy with everyone around so Mr. Wise asked all nonessentials to leave the set. I stayed on the set (not that I was 'essential'), Steve nodded and winked at me (I understood it was meant I didn't have to leave).
Believe it or not there seemed to be a little tension about the kiss.
I forget the lines but, Candy's character asked Jake to go AWOL. His response was something like, "Do you know what they would do to find me?" I think there was supposed to be a pause before Steve continued the dialogue but Candy responded, "What?" or something to that effect. Steve never missed a beat and said something like, "They would cut my %&^$ off" or something to this effect.
This broke the tension and the scene was reshot. I think Candy still had a smile on her face :-)
Here's a trivia question. I forget the answer (I would have to resee the credits). There was some imaginary person that was apparently a joke between Mr. Wise and Steve. In the end, Mr. Wise included the name in the credits even though the person didn't exist.
The two men really bonded and had a professional relationship that also was one of what I perceived to be a true friendship.Best regards,
I was going through the internet today and thought I'd see what was available regarding Steve McQueen. I found your site and have to say it brought back a lot of memories.
I was a 20 year old army brat attending Tam College of Arts and Science in Taipei in 1966-67. Short story is, I was invited by Steve to be his stand-in and photo-double during the filming to the S.P. in Taiwan (before the production moved to Hong Kong and then back to the studio.
What kid could resist such an offer?
I had a Triumph motorcycle (Steve had a cafe racer, Suzuki I think) and we got on great. Believe it or not, Steve drove around in a Beetle when he wasn't on the bike (Mr. Wise was not too pleased to see their investment risking his limbs on a 2 wheeler).
Any way, Steve was as good a guy as I think a lot of people would like him to have been in their imagination. Neil had the two small (babies almost as I recall) kids, Chad and Terry with Steve in Taipei but I don't recall seeing her on location or at any of the sets.
I have many, many fond memories of Steve and both the U.S. cast and crew while filming in Taiwan the friendship continued, even after I received my draft notice (I had dropped out of the college to work on the film and got my "Greetings" notice from the draft board. I was invited by Steve to come with the production to Hong Kong but, being a somewhat anal patriotic brat, I took off for boot camp at Fort Ord instead.
Steve, Neil and I corresponded for the next 4-5 years. I finished boot camp, intelligence training and officer's candidate school and then shipped off to Vietnam for a 13 month visit. I think I still have some of the post cards they sent.
After I returned to the States, they invited my new wife and me to the house on Oakmont. Neil and Jo Anne worked on their kid's dinner, Steve and I took off in Neil's "new" pea green 911L Porsche with the Sportamatic transmission. It was frightening and hilarious riding with Steve who had not driven the new card with the semi-automatic transmission that went into neutral when you touched the shifter!
I ran into Steve several years later in San Marcos, Texas during the filming of the Getaway. I spent 3-4 days hanging between takes. It was something watching the sparks between Steve and Ali and, the different relationship Steve had with Sam Pekinpaugh who directed the film. Suffice it to say Sam and Steve appeared equally strong headed and Sam's reaction to Steve firing off a blank behind Sam ended up with the crew and Al Literi (spell?) breaking the two apart as they rolled down a hill cursing each other!
I only spoke to Steve by phone several times while he was in Palm Springs in the late 1970's. I didn't know about his illness until I read about it locally. By then, I couldn't reach him and have to admit I didn't know what I could have said at the time had we spoken.
He was a dynamic actor who excelled. He once asked me what I thought about a guy who had nothing, came from nothing and now had everything. I got the impression he had a little doubt or insecurity in private but, his actions on the screen and from what I saw in real life really overcame this perception.
Hope the note wasn't too boring. I figured you were someone interested in Steve and would share a few memories.John
I really like your Sand Pebbles site. I have one problem, though. Some of us are behind firewalls and can't access any streaming video or audio. If you could either provide mpegs of your Real Audio and Video files, or provide links that allow download rather than streaming audio, that would allow us to see and hear the files. I certainly understand the space considerations you have. I am impressed with what you offer. I wonder, though, if there is a way to offer the RealVideo/Audio as a download rather than streaming, from the same files. I've seen it offered elsewhere--click one link for streaming, another for download. I have downloaded "A Ship Called San Pablo", and I would like to know when you have made changes to your video/audio site.
(The Sand Pebbles)...I had seen at least parts of it a very very long time ago on TV, and only vaguely remembered it as something ponderous but interesting. (I was probably 12 or something when I saw it.) I was always into much older movies, and didn't watch a lot of pictures from the 60s and 70s. Then just the other day, one of my writer's group said that they thought a character in my current novel should be played by Steve McQueen. I had Bogart in mind, but I realized I hadn't actually _seen_ many McQueen movies. So I went out and got all available. Now I'm a fan.
The Sand Pebbles is a marvellous movie. I can't say it is my favorite--I like things a little lighter--but it is certainly McQueen's best, and it is on my list to buy whenever it comes out on DVD. Anyway, thanks for all the good work!Camille LaGuire
My dad was an extra in this movie (McQueen walked by my dad as he exited a door). I am hoping that it comes out in DVD. My mother and I would each love to own a copy of it on DVD. My father past away in 1998. Any more info on the DVD status?Thanks - J Knight
I viewed your CD-ROM "A Ship Called San Pablo" today. It was a pleasure to get
the inside dope on the making of the movie.
Thanks again, and let me know where you want it sent.
Greetings and congratulations on a truly wonderful site. I did not know there was such a healthy interest in The Sand Pebbles. I first saw the Sand Pebbles on t.v. about 25 years ago and was incredibly impressed. I went out and bought the book and years later bought the movie on video. I feel close to the character of Jake Holman, I am a stationary engineer by trade and I can relate to Holmans affinity to the engines and boilers of the ship. In my job I have to supervise a maintenance crew of 4 people and deal with the buildings occupants and visitors. But I feel most comfortable in my mechanical rooms and boiler room. I do not like having to stand a "top watch". When I am in the boiler room or mechanical rooms it is just me and the equipment. I treat them well and they do not give me any trouble, unlike people. Like Holman I greet my equipment every time I enter their rooms. It may sound foolish but it works for me.I think Steve McQueen gave the best performance of his career in The Sand Pebbles. He deserved to get the Academy Award for his work. Oh well, such is life. Thanks again for your site.
Hello Mr. Garcia....I want to thank you very much for your time and devotion for this webpage. One hellava movie, McQueen's best for sure. I was the first person to request The Sand Pebbles on the DVD FILE, which felt pretty good. If you do a search, it now comes up as unreleased, which gives me hope that Fox might be off there asses and working on the restoration of this movie. I am wondering if you have any updates for DVD. I have tried to contact Fox, but it seems to be a deadend road. Also, I ordered a poster this morning in excellent condition, a bit pricey considering reprints are not available yet, but what the heck?Thanks again...Mike
I am looking for two "Pebbles" scenes that were shot aboard the Battleship TEXAS, near Houston Texas. The scenes were removed prior to the movie's premiere.
The segments were:
1. Steve McQueen in the TEXAS engine room receiving his orders to go to China
2. Saluting as he leaves TEXAS
Several years ago I contacted 20th Century, in Dallas. I was passed to the post production dept, in Hollywood. No one knew specifically about what happened to the outtakes but the assumption was they were destroyed as matter of routine many years ago.
I then contacted Robert Wise but he did not know the status of the segments.
I was a active TEXAS volunteer from Nov 1986 to Feb 1999.
I found your site while searching for info on the movie.
I read about the BB35 scenes but I do not remember if it is in a letter I
received from Mr Wise or a Houston Post article. (I still have both).
A Houston Post article said the scenes were shown in a preview to veterans of BB35.
Odd-on bet is the segments were destroyed. Yet with people being people, someone at Fox might have pulled the segments and sold them to a film collector. So even if the segments exist, the person with the segments can never let it be known.If any readers of this forum should have any additional information, please contact:
A little of my history follows: I, like so many kids of my generation, watched WWII movies and the "Combat" television series; and played war quite frequently. When I was much younger I went to see the movie The Sand Pebbles, perhaps four or five times. I fell in love with it, so much so that I wanted to do what Jake Holman did --- go up some river and rescue what's her name.
I would've joined the Navy were it not for my half-brother's words of caution (i.e. to think about redoing four years of high school but doing it in the military - he had recently gotten back from V'nam). Well with words like redoing four years of high school set in my mind, I did not join the Navy. But, by chance I happened to pick up a magazine that had a brief article on "The Army's navy." So, I volunteered for the draft and signed up for the Army's "Seaman/Watercraft Operator."
After completing basic training at Ft. Bragg, NC, I went on to the Army's "Seaman/Watercraft Operators" school at Ft. Eustis, VA.. After something like 13 months at Ft. Eustis ("Even Uncle Sam Think's It Suck's" --- that's what the opinion of GI's was), I volunteered for V'nam, just to get out of Eustis).
Well, I did go up various rivers, like the "Perfume River" and the "Qua Viet River --- that river was very close to the the "DMZ." In short, the experience was far different than that long ago movie that I loved "The Sand Pebbles."
Here I am, middle aged and I was reflecting on that movie and I found this site. I haven't read the letters on this forum, I probably won't. But, I can't help but wonder why there is even a forum on this old movie. Why?
As an ending thought, I would say that Jake was clearly at odds with his shipmates --- I was so young when I watched that movie and volunteered for the Army's Watercraft School, and then V'Nam, that I missed that very important tension between Jake and most of his ship. I found that tension in V'Nam.
Robert E. Garcia
Oh, my picture is on "The Web" --- and on my riverboat, in several what we called "Capt. America" photos: silly boy. ________________________________________
Subject: The Ship Called San Pablo
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 16:40:45 -0500
To: Crispin Garcia
Great site! I can't believe there is such a strong appeal to this movie. I thought I was the only one. It has been and still is my favorite movie. I am 35 and it is depressing when I get into a conversation about movies and find people my age have no idea who Steve McQueen is, let alone the movie The Sand Pebbles.
Dropping you a line due to having difficulty downloading the featurette. Any advice would be appreciated. I have only been able to download about the first 30 seconds.Thanks, Gregor
Hi, just wanted to let u know I really like ur site! As a 5 year old growing up in San Diego in the late 60's my dad took my brother and me to the movies one day and it was a double feature, the first run was "Planet of the Apes" and the second run was the "Sand Pebbles". Now u would think that a 5 year old would like "Planet of the Apes" better but for me it was the other way around! I immediately latched onto this movie and haven't let go since. My late uncle was a gunboat sailor in China in the 30's and after seeing the movie I would ask him questions about his service back then and would listen to him for hours. When I joined the Navy in the 80's my ship still had several BAR's for ships defense and I managed to get one assigned to me whenever we had drills and I always used to imagine I was Steve McQueen shooting the Chinese (pretty weird huh?). Anyway once again, ur site is very good and now I think I'm going to pop the"Pebbles" in the ol DVD!Take Care
Just a note to Jerry Goldsmith fans, the soundtrack of Tora!, Tora!, Tora! is finally available on the Varese Sarabande label (VSD-5796). They compact-disked it with the soundtrack from Patton. There are all 14 cuts from Patton and only 5 cuts from Tora!, Tora!, Tora! on the CD, but's worth it to hear the master at work.
I wonder if those questions asked during the '95 AOL interview had anything to do with the release of the CD. We may never know.- John, a Pebbles fan (aka novascot, formerly known as VonDoom)
Myself, I am very interested in starting a site dedicated to actor Joe Turkel. I saw you have two pics that have him in them, and I wonderd if I could trouble you for high resolution copies of them. Finding pics of Joe is very difficult. Mr. Turkel has sent several to me personally from various films, but none from The Sand Pebbles, which next to Blade Runner, is my favorite film of all time. I will update you when I have the site up and online. I will be spending a couple days around Joe in two weeks and intend on getting as much info about his life and career as I can. Anyway, if you have larger scans of those images that you could send, I would sure appreciate it.
I introduced my wife to The Sand Pebbles just a year ago, I was shocked when she said she had never seen it. It is now the second most watched video in our collection... Next to Blade Runner. I pray to get TSP on DVD one day.
Once again, WOW! Great site!Gerry Kissell
I have attached the passage from the movie for you. Encoded as a RealMedia file (.rm), it is about 420K in size and lasts 1 minute and 40 seconds. For the transcript of their dialogue click here. The RealMedia version is available by clicking HERE.
I hope this works out for you and once again best wishes.------------------------------------------------------------------------