Introduction to Roadshow and Audience Test scenes

  1. OPENING SHOT (Audience test) - An establishing shot of a 1925 battleship in the Shanghai Harbor. Jake Holman packing his sea bag, has some dialogue, salutes the OOD (Officer of the Deck) and leaves the ship. (The battleship is seen very briefly in the DVD movie trailer). (GT) (This opening scene is described on pages 1 and 2 of the early version of the Sand Pebbles script.) A brief history of these scenes shot aboard the USS Texas in August 1966 are provided here.

  2. CROW'S NEST BAR (Audience test) - The scene in the bar when Holman points to the prostitute and asks if she likes him and she answers in pigeon English and Holman tells the proprietor "the uniform gets them every time". After that, there is a scene where they are going upstairs and they are shot almost in silhouette. It was very sad and illustrative of the life that both of them were leading and it was among the scenes that the wiz kids at the studio decided the film could do without. (Photo) (QB)

  3. SEW SEW SCENE (Roadshow) - Part of the introductory sequences before the repel boarders drill where Holman gets to know the crew. Holman hangs out with Frenchy whom he met the night before. A Chinese coolie interrupts them with his measurement kit, it is Sew Sew. Sew Sew checks Holman out, and says 'You like P'tocki... me makee plenty whites (uniforms)...' Holman does not want plenty whites: 'No, you makee blues (jeans), plenty blues'. Holman turns to Frenchy and explains: 'Whites are no good for the engine room'. Frenchy responds: 'Oh, on this boat, everybody stands guard duty, even the engine crew... you'll get used to it'. Holman looks at Frenchy incredulously: '....what?!'. The scene lasts about 1 minute. (Photo) (Screenshot) (JMT) (This scene is described on pages 26 and 27 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  4. UNDER THE FLOOR PLATES (Roadshow) - This is an extended version of the floor plate scene in the movie. After Holman orders Pohan (over Chein's objections) to pull up a floor plate we see him moving methodically underneath the floor inspecting the bilge. The extended scene reinforces Holman's love for machinery and it is always fascinating to watch McQueen work with his props no matter what they happen to be. (This scene is described on page 31 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  5. LOCAL BANDITS (Roadshow) - Up the river for the first time. Holman in the engine room notices crankshaft problems (alignment) and goes up to the bridge to tell Captain. "As long as we move and smoke boils out of our stack..." Holman on the way down hears gunshots; hides behind the stack. An officer explains: "Bandits, local bandits... they never do anything but shoot holes in the stack". (The local bandits shoot from a small island in the middle of the river...briefly seen in the DVD movie trailer). (JMT) (This scene is described on pages 39 and 40 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  6. STOPPED FOR REPAIRS (Roadshow) - After Chien's accident, Holman goes down to make the repair himself. Collins and Holman eye each other, Holman takes a tool and goes to work... then there is a left to right "wipe" to finished repair. That cut to finished is missing; in the DVD we go straight to arrival in Changsha. (JMT) (This scene is described on pages 44 and 45 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  7. HAMMER SCENE (Audience test) - After the bearing assembly was taken apart, Jake realizes that the crankshaft is bent and has to be straightened or the new bearing will go bad again. It is considered an impossible task without dry-docking the ship and removing the shaft. But Jake says he could do it. Pohan assists and it was while working together that they begin to develop their relationship. Jake rotated the shaft (or heated the shaft - I don't remember exactly) and Pohan "hammered" on the shaft. They developed a rhythm with Jake hollering,


    and Pohan hammering in sync. It was quite an extensive part of the original movie.

    You remember in the fight scene, Jake is pleading with Pohan to "hit em, hit em". But then he says "hammer, hammer", and Pohan begins "hammering" on Stawski's stomach in a very unorthodox, overhand style. It is a pivotal moment, for the fight then begins to swing in Pohan's favor.

    Also, reference is made to the amazing accomplishment of straightening the shaft when Crenna tells Jake he must stand deck watch .."no matter what we do or how good we may do it".

    The scene also further elaborates Jake's love and knowledge of the engine and was very interesting from an engineering standpoint. Maybe that was why it was excised - not sufficiently romantic, not necessary to advance plot, maybe too suggestive that Jake might be more interested in machines than humans. Anyway, I loved it and wish they'd have left it in. (SG)

  8. AFTER THE BET (Roadshow) - Following the scene where Holman and Stawski have agreed on the boxing match, Frenchy argues with Holman outside of the crew's quarters. (Cyrille) (This scene is described on pages 71 and 72 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  9. LOOKING FOR JAMESON (Roadshow) - When the San Pablo arrives at Paoshan to evacuate the missionaries at China Light, Jameson is not on the pier with the others. This extended sequence has more dialog between Lop Eye Shing and the Chinese soldiers on the pier. (Cyrille) (This scene is described on pages 85 and 86 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  10. REQUESTING TRANSFER (Roadshow) - Just before the movie intermission, Holman is been summoned to Lt. Collins' cabin. Collins asks Holman to request a transfer or he will. One line of dialog has been deleted from this scene. (Cyrille) (The deleted line is described on page 105 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  11. ESCORTED BACK (Roadshow) - After Lt. Bordelles and his detail are escorted back to the Changsha dock by Major Lin's troops there is a quick cut to their arrival at the San Pablo. This extended sequence shows the men marching down to the motorpan, their trip back and reaction shots on the San Pablo. (Cyrille)

  12. MARRYING MAILY (Roadshow) - American priests will not conduct the wedding ceremony; the Chinese also refuse because neither Frenchy nor Maily have families... they are like branches fallen off a tree: they can't splice them together.

    In the movie, before the birdcage scene, Holman is seen talking to Shirley in front of the house for missionaries in Changsha about the marriage, she answers something like: '... no, since they have no families, ...'. Then she asks him if he knows Changsha well... he says yes... then she asks him to take her on a tour of the city... next image: a kid and a birdcage. (JMT) (This scene is described on pages 120 and 121 of the early version of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  13. ANOTHER DOLLAR (Audience test) - The San Pablo crew is being pressured to pay more money to keep the coolies from deserting ship. Holman lies in his bunk studying the China Light machinery booklets while part of the crew gathers around the mess table to discuss this new development. A photo from this scene. (This scene is described on pages 128 and 129 of the early version of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  14. DINNER WITH SHIRLEY (Roadshow) - The scene I miss most. Nice restaurant, snow flakes through the windows... They eat and chat... politics. "What would you say if Chinese gunboats were patrolling the Mississippi river?" she asks. Jake responds "I'd like to see that". This is followed by the marriage scene between Frenchy and Maily. (I do recall a nice music cue for the dinner scene and a photo from this scene is included in the Italian lobby cards) (JMT) (This scene is described on pages 129 and 130 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  15. STAY CLEAR OF THE MEN (Roadshow) - As Holman is preparing to go ashore to the consulate Franks breaks up an argument between two sailors. After Collins instructs Bordelles to wear a sidearm there is additional dialog about the need to stay away from the men. (This scene is described on pages 145 and 146 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

  16. FIRE (Roadshow) - During the battle on the river, the San Pablo is temporarily stopped by a fire on the rear top deck. Holman uses a knife to cut out the cover of the lifeboat which is on fire. (JMT) (This scene is described on pages 172 and 173 of the early revision of the Sand Pebbles script - CG)

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