I also read an article about the making of "the Sand Pebbles" that had some background on the actual events that inspired the book. The San Pablo was purpose built for the film and the shallow rivers in Taiwan and Hong Kong where the film was shot. The Boat drafted only 2 1/2 ft of water. The amazing thing what the way the ship was constructed to enhance the film. It's design was a collection of elements taken from the various gunboats captured in the late 1880s in the Philippians during the Spanish/American war and pressed into US Naval service to patrol Chinese waterways after the Boxer Rebellion and WW1 to protect American lives and assets. The Boat was powered with twin diesel engines. The overly large almost to the point of absurd, smoke funnel was strictly a dramatic device to help illustrate the oppressive nature of the Naval presence on the indigenous population. The engine room and engine seen in the film was built in Hollywood although the engine it's self was an actual period Liberty ship engine the company had acquired for the film. The over all production design on this film was outstanding, a tutorial on how to do it right. It also has some of the finest actors and performances of the era. IF you have never seen The Sand Pebbles, it should be put on your must see list. Any one else have any comments?
Edited by James Steven Beverly, 11 September 2008 - 03:20 AM.