Friday, January 20, 2017

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

Here is a street corner we have seen from various angles over the course of several films. It's the junction with Percival Street along Hennessy Road. We were looking at it from the opposite angle (i.e. looking south down Percival Street) only a few posts ago. This time we are looking at it from the point of view along Percival Street looking north back towards Hennessy.

As you can see from the Streetview grab below the Fotomax sign has since been replaced by a Tom Lee advert but note that the Tai Woo Seafood Restaurant sign on the right (in the film grab) can still be seen in the Streetview picture. Incidentally, this is the same corner that Thomas was able to locate for Emmanuelle 2 a couple of years back with the Rolex and Tudor adverts below the Tom Lee sign.

After turning into Percival Street we see the car (incidentally, this was Neil's personal Mark 2 Jaguar that he lent to the production company) drive south and pass some of the signs we saw on the earlier Percival Street post.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Elevated Road above Hill Road, Shek Tong Tsui

Although seemingly nameless, this elevated road sits directly above Hill Road and connects Pok Fu Lam Road with Connaught Road West. I've alternated screen captures with Streetview images so you can see the changes that have happened since 1989. In the first comparison you can see that the low rise "Tong Lau" (i.e. Chinese tenements) have been replaced by the Shek Tong Tsui Municipal Services Building on the right.

A little further down the road, around the bend and you can see that there has been some new development in the form of high-rises. Most noticeable is "Hill Court" on the left of the already existing "Goa Building" (directly ahead at the bend).  The Goa Building is the one with the brown trim in the Streetview picture below with Hill Court next to it. Not only that but the empty space on the left has also been well and truly blocked up by the construction of the massive "The Belchers".

Finally towards the end of the road (before it makes a final right hand bend onto the eastbound side of Connaught Road West). Actually, not much change and although it looks as though the stripey Hong Kong Plaza building has been removed at the end of the road, in fact it has just been obscured by the newer construction of the Pacific Plaza Building which can be seen at the end of the buildings on the right hand side of the road.

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Hong Kong University, Pok Fu Lam

The address of HKU states it's in Pok Fu Lam but I'm a bit dubious. Any advances on Pok Fu Lam?

Anyway, the land auction scene was filmed at a couple of locations in and around the historical HKU. The first location is the auction room where the land bidding takes place. This was filmed inside Loke Yew Hall. The second location is seen as Henry (Lone) leaves the auction after getting his rival (played by Roy Chiao) to pay way over the odds for a piece of land in the hope of giving his company cash flow problems. It's one of the four courtyards that sit inside the main building of the University. If there are any people who know is these courtyards have a name then please feel free to clue me in, but until then we will just have to do by describing it as the one with the circular pool in the centre. This is the scene mentioned by Neil where Sam Neill was able to be convinced to play a small role as a journalist.

Loke Yew Hall

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Lo Pan Temple, Kennedy Town

When Henry goes to see the fortune teller (played by Dennis Chan) we see him wander to an area that we are told in the movie is Temple Street. Actually it is Ching Lin Terrace in Kennedy Town and is where the famous Lo Pan Temple sits. We've seen this temple once before in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story when a young Bruce runs out to be confronted by a demon. Here is a reminder.

Although we can't see the famous angular roof top that makes this temple quite unique in Hong Kong, the front facade is recognisable as well as the nice terrace where the building has its home. Back in 1989 it looks as though there was still an older building next door that had an external wall decorated with round moon shaped windows but this place was demolished in the mid 90's to make way for the current residential development called "Jade Lotus Garden".

At the end of the sequence we also catch a glimpse of the building next door which, I believe is the administrative building of the Kwong Yuet Hong - the builders organisation that manages the temple.

 This wall has been replaced by Jade Garden Court.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Yau Kung Tong, Yuen Long

Here's another place that has cropped up before. Last time we saw it on this blog it was the building where young Bruce Lee learns his kung fu. In Shadow of China it is just a meeting place for John Lone's character and his mainland Chinese contact (played by Kenneth Tsang). The last view on Streetview (see the Dragon link above) shows that the external wall had been demolished.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cracker: White Ghost - Robbie Coltrane (1996) - 31 Barker Road, The Peak

As mentioned previously, #31 Barker Road was used a few years after it was last seen on Shadow of China. For those who remember watching Cracker: White Ghost there is the scene when Fitz and crew head to speak to a rather forthright gweilo businessman played by David Bradley. Bradley will be familiar to anyone who has seen him as Mr Filch in the Harry Potter films and is currently most well-known for his role as Abraham Setrakian in The Strain.

The building behind Robbie Coltrane (another Harry Potter connection there) in the lower photo is Barker Villa at #41 Barker Road.

The driveway is fairly recognisable but it looks like the house underwent some ill-advised cladding work since Shadow of China was filmed there, or perhaps the stucco was removed to reveal the brick underneath? Whichever it was I don't think it enhanced the look. You can compare the two shots below to see how the place changed in the space of a few years.

Shadow of China
Cracker: White Ghost

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - 31 Barker Road, The Peak

The second property used for Henry's house is #31 Barker Road. This one was a real stumper for me because it has since been completely redeveloped. In the end I had to go back to the source and ask for help from Neil himself (the location manager on the film).

The house stood on a raised terrace like many other properties that are situated on the slopes of Victoria Peak and had a rather impressive sweeping driveway that curves to the front of the house from Barker Road. The driveway looked familiar to me because it was also used on another of Neil's productions a few years later (post to follow).

The site has since been completely redeveloped and it looks as though four separate houses now occupy the same site. The driveway is still there but the wall along its edge has been replaced by something a bit more modern.

For those interested in a different view of the house,you can see it in the centre left of this photo on FLICKR.

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - 11 Pollock's Path, The Peak

The production used two separate properties to portray Henry's house. The other one will follow in a later post but first we see this shot of Henry by his pool and its rather impressive view over the harbour. he's so high I initially thought this might have been filmed at the top of a high rise until a bit of triangulation with the various angles on the surrounding buildings revealed it to be the pool found at 11 Pollock's Path. The pool is still there and can be seen as part of what is marked on the maps as House B1.

A quick google search reveals that this is currently on the market (for sale or rent). If you want to buy it it is going to set you back the tidy sum of HK$268M (US$33.5M) or if you don't want a long term commitment you can rent the place for HK$200K per month. You can check out the details on the Landscope Christies website here. The swimming pool can be seen at the end of the gallery pictures. It doesn't look as though it has changed since filming.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui

One of the incidents Neil recalls in his earlier comments was that Typhoon Brenda blew in from the Philippines and completely destroyed an office set that had been constructed on top of Ocean Terminal - at the extreme far end of the car park. The set was Henry Wong's (John Lone) office and here are the screen grabs.

If you read the wiki entry on the typhoon you'll see it was the same one held responsible for the strong winds that downed a helicopter - killing 5 people - on the set of Chuck Norris' Delta Force 2 that was shooting in the Philippines at the time.

L'Inconnue de Hong Kong - Dalida (1963) - Chungking Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui

Another good spot from Thomas who was able to read the Chinese writing on the front of the building (樂聲牌陳列室) and determine that it was the "National Appliances" showroom. He was able to confirm from the current company website that they opened up a new showroom in Chungking Mansions in 1962 and it certainly does look as though this particular screen shot from the film was taken right at the main entrance. Chungking Mansions had opened in 1961 (back then it was a rather upmarket residential development - a far cry from its current reputation as cheap hostel complex), the National Appliance showroom opened in 1962 and then this film was shot in 1963.

You can look at the modern day Streetview for a comparison.

Anyway, once more a great find by Thomas so many thanks to him.

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Former Marine Police HQ, Tsim Sha Tsui

After leaving his stuff at the nightclub, Akira returns to his hotel. It turns out that the exterior of the former Marine Police HQ (now Hullet House) stood in for the hotel complete with fake neon sign stuck on the front.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Percival Street, Causeway Bay

One of the night scenes involving the party tram gives us a nice view up Percival Street from its junction with Hennessy Road. It's a bit difficult to see the tram lines in the screen grabs (I can only see the one that turns east along Hennessy in these) but a quick comparison with a daytime screen grab taken around the same time (courtesy of Yellowthread Street) allows us to match up many of the overhead shops signs.

Note that this was before the pedestrian bridge (crossing Hennessy Road) was built on what would be the left hand side of these screen grabs. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Shadow of China - John Lone (1989) - Flagstaff House, Hong Kong Park

We've seen this place a couple of times on this blog now, first was as the residence of Emmanuelle and her husband in Emmanuelle 2, then not so long ago Vivian Wu was doing a photo shoot here for The Pillow Book. Well, it turns out that The Pillow Book wasn't the first time Vivian had made a film here because she turns up with Akira to witness her old refugee buddy throwing a large garden party in the groundsof the rather splendid old house.