The Sand Pebbles (1966)

PG-13   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Romance

The Sand Pebbles (1966) Poster

In 1926, a U.S. Naval engineer gets assigned to a gunboat on a rescue mission in war-torn China.




  • Candice Bergen and Steve McQueen in The Sand Pebbles (1966)
  • Steve McQueen in Japan during the filming of "The Sand Pebbles"
  • Steve McQueen and Ford Rainey in The Sand Pebbles (1966)
  • Steve McQueen in Japan during filming of "The Sand Pebbles"
  • Steve McQueen in Japan during the filming of "The Sand Pebbles"
  • "Sand Pebbles, The" Steve McQueen 1966 20th Cent. Fox

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

28 August 2006 | Doylenf
| Steve McQueen remains the focal point in ambitious, sometimes rambling film...
STEVE McQUEEN makes a completely believable machinist's mate aboard a U.S. Navy gunboat who finds himself enmeshed in the politics of unrest that existed in 1926 China during the period of the Boxer Rebellion. It's probably one of the finest roles of his career--honest, vexating, and completely true to the emotions of his character whose only real concern is taking care of his engines.

There are plenty of other good performances. RICHARD CRENNA is the Captain, uncertain of just how the U.S./Chinese friction should be solved, and CANDACE BERGEN is lovely as a missionary who has a tender romance with McQueen.

The exotic locales (it was filmed mostly in Taiwan), the lush background score by Jerry Goldsmith, and the confrontation between the U.S. Navy and the Chinese authorities which supplies the necessary suspense before an action-filled climax, all serve to make THE SAND PEBBLES a fascinating look at a period in history that is seldom explored. And, of course, it raises questions as to our role in imperialism and our interaction with the culture of foreign countries that make the film relevant today.

It's a long film, rather uneven in places, but directed with rare sensitivity by Robert Wise and richly detailed period atmosphere.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

20 December 1966


English, Mandarin

Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Taipei City, Taiwan

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Contribute to this page

Picks for "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" Fans

Here are some titles inspired by "The Falcon and the Winter Solider" that bring back Peggy Carter, explore mysteries with a few MCU mainstays, and feature a buddy-cop duo who clash as hard as Sam and Bucky.

Watch the video

See Your Favorite '90s Stars, Then and Now

Take a look at your favorite stars from the 1990s and how they've changed in the last three decades.

See the full list

Around The Web


Powered by Taboola

More To Explore

Search on