Sunday, May 31, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Man from Hong Kong - Wang Yu (1975) - Midlevels, Central

A camera view - probably taken from the previously mentioned Umbrella Seat area on Mount Austin Road - looking over towards Century Tower next to the Peak Tram rail track. We saw another angle of this very same area when we were looking at Shatter showing us a bit of Grenville House. Grenville House is the curved development to the left of Century Tower.


The Man from Hong Kong - Wang Yu (1975) - Mount Austin Road, The Peak

We've been up at the umbrella seat on Mt Austin Road before, this time though it's with Wang Yu who was unanimously described as a complete wanker (a real nasty piece of work, I believe someone also said) by everyone who worked with him on this film (and this seems to be a general opinion of the man anyway).

Anyway, here we are above the city with its great view from the area of the Umbrella Seat. This is one of only two or three scenes from the film that weren't filmed from a helicopter. Most of the real action was filmed in Australia.


I believe that might be the house known as the Haystack on the top right above?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Man from Hong Kong - Wang Yu (1975) - Central Waterfront

Some scenes of the Central Harbour front as the hand glider moves over to the island. Prominent in all the screen caps is the Connaught Centre (now Jardine House) which Grant Page mistakenly refers to (in his rather entertaining memoir Man on Fire: A Stunt of a Life) as the 'Conodcentre'. Anyway, apparently this particular flight was launched from the Mt Austin area of the Peak before doing a nice big circle of the building.


There are some brief glimpses of various buildings including the Furama Hotel, Hutchison House, City Hall and the old version of HMS Tamar and below we can just see the tops of both the Mandarin Oriental Hotel as well as Prince's Building.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Man from Hong Kong - Wang Yu (1975) - Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter, Kowloon

As we continue the hand glider flight, we get what I guess is supposed to be a pilot's eye view, though to be honest even Grant Page - as hardcore as he is - would have difficulty getting this high above Kowloon. We start with the familiar scene of the (now reclaimed) typhoon shelter and the Ferry Point Estate - the latter now very much land-locked on all sides - as well as the former Vehicular Ferry pier at the end of Jordan Road. Look closely and you can see a ferry just about to dock at the pier.


As the camera pans south (up) we get to see Tsim Sha Tsui, Ocean Terminal and Hong Kong island in the distance. The detail is a bit fuzzy to see anything of value but if you look to the left hand side of the top picture below you will see the reclamation for East TST is underway. Actually, I believe this film was shot mainly in 1974 because I suspect Brian Trenchard-Smith's documentary Kung Fu Killers - again with Grant Page and next up on the to-do list - was filmed at the same time and features interviews with Stuart Whitman (in HK filming Shatter) and George Lazenby (in HK filming Stoner). This would also explain why the reclamation in East TST doesn't look to have been finished just yet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Man from Hong Kong - Wang Yu (1975) - Diamond Hill, Kowloon

I previously mentioned a rather epic hand glider flight carried out by Grant Page for the opening of this film. It was a flight done in multiple sections and this particular one - filmed around the Kowloon Hills near Diamond Hill - caused a bit of a hassle with the nearby flights from Kai Tak Airport. In this shot we see the hand glider from the vantage point of Shatin Pass Road up in the hills looking down upon what was the actual hill that gave Diamond Hill its name. These days the hill is largely gone, excavated for Po Kong Village Road Park, but there are still some remnants located in and around the Po Kong Village Road.

Those of with sharp eyes and a good memory will remember a similar view from when I was posting about Shatter, and if you page to the bottom of this post, you'll see the same raised lip of earth around the corner of the Shatin Pass Road that can be seen in the first shot below. 


The large housing estate that can be seen in the top picture is the old Tsz Wan Shan housing estate that was demolished over a period of time throughout the 1980's and 90's and replaced by smaller clusters of separately named estates. The flat area in front of the shaved hillside is roughly where today's Po Kong Village Road Park Football pitch now stands - the rest of the hillside has been pretty much completely removed.

In fact, on the other side of the hill is where the Tate's Cairn Tunnel now pops out right next to Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden. As far as I can tell, about the only buildings that can be identified that are still standing are three blocks that line the Po Kong Village Road in the bottom left of the top picture. The leftmost is a CLP substation and the other two are actually schools which may go some way to explain why they are still around.

The Man from Hong Kong - Wang Yu (1975) - Hong Kong Police Training Ground, Wong Chuk Hang

Moving on to this HK-Australian co-production written and directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith. It stars Wang Yu as a HK cop helping investigate an international drug ring in Sydney. HK fans will remember a youthful Sammo Hung as a drug courier. Although largely shot in Australia, there are a couple of very excellent sequences involving Hong Kong and here is the first involving the real-life training ground of the Hong Kong Police Farce...oops, I mean Force!

It's memorable for me because of the hand glider flight (more to come later) stunt performed by renowned Aussie stuntman, Grant Page (who also plays an assassin in the film), when he lands the glider in the middle of the parade ground - although I should state he was doing this as a double for the film's female lead.


Unfortunately, I don't have any personal photos of this place and the surrounding roads are off-limits for the Streetview car, but every so often they have an open day and kind people post their photos on Panoramio. So here is one courtesy of nastylim, which shows the angled canopy is still around even though some of the buildings surrounding it have changed.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold - Tamara Dobson (1975) - Hong Kong International Airport, Kai Tak

A final look at Cleopatra Jones 2 (well, until I get a few unknown spots identified) as she bids farewell to HK at its famed airport.


We get a quick glimpse of the old terminal building before moving over to her Singapore Airlines flight.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold - Tamara Dobson (1975) - Shek O

During the scene when Cleopatra is being pursued from the casino (the casino set was actually constructed at Shaw Bros because the famous pagoda, used in so many Shaw productions (fans will know which one I am talking about), was part of the rather extravagant set.

Anyway, one minute we are at the casino set and the next we are next to the Tin Hau Temple in Shek O.


 I don't have my own copy, but have uploaded and image from wikipedia (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_Hau_temples_in_Hong_Kong#/media/File:HK_ShekOTinHauTemple.JPG).

From what I can see in the Cleopatra Jones screen grab, the temple has definitely undergone a renovation and it looks like the pictures at the front wall of the building have been changed. I think they might be tiled mosaics so I guess it's not too much of a job to change them - but the positions of the pictures haven't changed and neither has the general appearance of the place.


Just after she leaves the temple, Jones heads down the nearby street, in reality it's not too far away at all on Shek O Village Road. It's a night time shot, so not the clearest but some recognisable buildings can be seen.


The Streetview grab below shows the same place with the Chinoiserie-style white building on what, I think, is 405-407 Shek O Village Road (corrections welcome).

After this, Jones is cornered in a courtyard that, actually, could be anywhere but I have a sneaking suspicion it might still be in Shek O. The reason I say this is because one of the shots of the courtyard shows an archway at the back that looks like it says Ming Yuen. The Chinese characters are: 明苑 and you can see them at the back in the picture below (read R->L).


Now, there is still a building in Shek O that goes by that exact name. It's at #23 Shek O Headland Road but the area around it is rather now more developed so I can't confirm either way. So if there are any Shek O old-timers that can shed some light on this place it would be greatly appreciated and I have included a few more pictures of the courtyard below.