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Trailers from Hell Talks Robert Wise's 'The Sand Pebbles,' Starring Steve McQueen

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood May 28, 2014 at 11:19AM

Today on Trailers from Hell, Alan Spencer takes on the 1966 "Sand Pebbles," starring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough.
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'The Sand Pebbles'
'The Sand Pebbles'

Today on Trailers from Hell, Alan Spencer takes on the 1966 "Sand Pebbles," starring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough.

Roadshow epics were going the way of the dinosaur by the time Robert Wise's "The Sand Pebbles" appeared in 1966, particularly in the wake of the small films (like that year's "Alfie" and "Georgy Girl") that were speaking to younger ticket-buyers in a way the stodgy blockbusters were not. More’s the pity because Wise’s film, about a machinist’s mate caught up in the Chinese civil war of 1926, is an ambitious attempt to examine both political and personal conflicts against an intriguing historical backdrop. Steve McQueen stars as the rebellious sailor alongside Richard Attenborough whose romance with a Chinese courtesan comes to a tragic end.

This article is related to: Video, Video, Trailers from Hell


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.