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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After receiving a number of recommendations from AVS'ers for Sand Pebbles in the Peacenik film thread, NetFlix finally sent it to me.


I have to admit I didn't quite see how it was a peacenik movie, but what a great film! It was a srawling war epic that carefully avoided war movie cliche's and starred Steve McQueen and Candice Bergen in their prime. It felt like a big film like Lawrence of Arabia or Dr Zhivago and was surprised I hadn't heard of it before. I was a long movie that held my attention the whole way.


The other great thing about it was the restoration effort. I just couldn't get over how good the picture quality was, and I'm using a front projector with a 120" screen. I think the transfer was even better than North By Northwest.


If you get the chance to rent this one, definitely check it out!
 

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I bought this one like a year ago and still haven't watched it (ever) ... mostly cause of the 3 hour running time. It's hard to block off that kind of time. I usually like to pop in movies late and the 3 hour running time just kills it ...


I do need to watch it soon though ... looking forward to it. Thanks
 

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THE SAND PEBBLES has been one of my favorite movies since I first saw it as a youngster in 1966. It is a high quality Robert Wise film, an epic production that has never left my "top ten" list throughout all these years. PEBBLES was nominated for "Best Picture" in 1966, but ultimately lost out to A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. In any case, it was a worthy nominee and might well have won the award. As a very effective ensemble, the entire cast should be commended for excellent acting from top to bottom...and I think Steve McQueen gives the finest performance of his career---nothing less than Academy Award caliber, in my estimation. But be warned: this is not a "feel good" movie. You'll sense its fundamental overtone of tragedy beginning with the opening strains of Jerry Goldsmith's evocative score. For me, this film provides an exhausting, sometimes disturbing, emotional experience...but I consider it three well-spent hours at the movies.
 

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I haven't seen that in a couple of years.....I'll have to get the

DVD Or dig out my old LD-version.


Nicholas
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Crow331
I bought this one like a year ago and still haven't watched it (ever) ... mostly cause of the 3 hour running time. It's hard to block off that kind of time. I usually like to pop in movies late and the 3 hour running time just kills it ...


I do need to watch it soon though ... looking forward to it. Thanks
This one will fly by, and you'll swear you just sat through a two hour movie.

Just another of the Mcqueen classics! Peacenik thread???...last week I recommended this one in the "war movie" thread...I agree, it would not be a peacenik kind of movie. However I'm not sure you'd really call it a war movie...the China civil war is really only a back drop to a story of a few people doing what they felt was needed.
 

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this came out on dvd shortly after Lawrence Of Arabia and Bridge On The River Kwai, and i picked it up hoping it would fill the cravings for a long, sprawling movie that the other two has spurred.

took me almost 2 years to sit down and actually watch it though, and only because i was expecting to thin out my shelves of the dead weight, so i would watch it and then sell it off quick.

i was surprised at how engrossing it was.

and yet again, McQueen proved what a charismatic actor he was.


as far as the peacenik angle, i think it has a few things to chew on ( like the fate of Mako's character ) as we facilitate the liberation of Iraq and attempt to get them on the democratic straight and narrow.

the initial dinner conversation at the beginning of the film i found fascinating-


i watched it after 9/11 and probably before the war in Afghanistan, and i was surprised by the relevancy i saw.



i agree for the most part with the positive assessment of the discs a/v quality.

i see a little softness, or a little less detail than in some other discs. this ends up showing off the pixel structure a little more readily on my pj, but its still a fine looking disc.

for a vintage 2.35 wide-screen movie, especially, it looks great.


highly recommended
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll agree that the anticolonialism angle did make for very timely watching. I guess that was the thought in the Peacenik thread, even though it didn't necessarily repudiate war or violence.
 

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Great movie but I think that Man for all Seasons is a better movie. Though perhaps its splitting hairs - they are both great movies. File both away for future purchase...


By the way, Great Escape, IMHO, was McQueen's greatest. The "motorcycle into barbed wire" scene has stuck with me all these years.
 

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Great movie, I too have loved it since it came out. Note how well McQueen handles the Springfield 03 and BAR, that kind of attention to detail makes the movie more lifelike.


And read the book, I do every 3 years or so. The part where Holman and his Chinese helper are rebuilding the steam engine is very interesting. They're trying to bust the bolts loose with a slugging wrench and a 25lb beater and are killing themselves, getting nowhere. Then some friends, engineers from British and French gunboats and a German mining engineer showup to help and bring a 50lb beater! Well the 50 pounder does the job. As we say in the Boilermaker trade "get a bigger hammer!"
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HTCrazy
I'll agree that the anticolonialism angle did make for very timely watching. I guess that was the thought in the Peacenik thread, even though it didn't necessarily repudiate war or violence.


The movie had some threads within its fabric that might be interpreted in a "peacenik" vein. For example: "Damn your flag...damn all flags! It's too late in the world for flags." --- Mr. Jameson, the missionary. However, I agree it's a stretch to construe the movie as a whole-cloth repudiation of war. Its drama focuses primarily on characters and their relationships.


It's interesting, though, how different people perceive this movie and respond to it. As noted, some see a dominant anti-war, anti-colonial, anti-national message. A completely opposite view was taken by one of my college professors. I clearly remember her calling THE SAND PEBBLES "a piece of fascist propaganda and war-mongering". :confused: Go figure.


I think this movie is a drama about people in difficult circumstances doing what they can to make a go of it. It's essentially a human tragedy sprinkled with seeds of human hope along the way.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by philba
Great movie but I think that Man for all Seasons is a better movie. Though perhaps its splitting hairs - they are both great movies. File both away for future purchase...



By the way, Great Escape, IMHO, was McQueen's greatest. The "motorcycle into barbed wire" scene has stuck with me all these years.


Agreed---both THE SAND PEBBLES and A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS are outstanding films. I love 'em both.



THE GREAT ESCAPE is another great movie! I thought McQueen's screen presence was very effective in it as well. But his role as Holman in PEBBLES was as the lead actor, the central protagonist and driving force of the movie...in ESCAPE, he played a somewhat lesser role in the ensemble cast. (By the way, Richard Attenborough was also excellent in these two films.)
 
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