Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Amsterdam Kill - Robert Mitchum (1977) - Ho Tung Lau, Shatin

One of the more elusive properties to find information on seems to be Ho Tung Lau. This grand building used to stand on the shores of the Shatin Sea at the upper end of the valley close to the modern-day Fo Tan station. It's exact locale is still a bit difficult to ascertain, but there is an area on the local maps also called Ho Tung Lau as well as one of the MTR Fo Tan depot buildings with the same name, which indicates that it was somewhere close to the far end of the residential development known as "Royal Ascot" (Edit: see Thomas' comments below about it being further south under Jubilee Garden).

There seems to be only a few decent photographs of this place, so it's nice that Robert Clouse (the director) managed to feature it quite prominently in this film - possibly not too long before its eventual demolition and the areas redevelopment into the Fo Tan train depot. The building features in the film as a drugs lab that gets raided by the police. 


 Ma On Shan in the background

I may have gone a bit overboard with the screencaps here, but I think any shot of this long forgotten building is worth putting up.


I'm not sure if the school sign on the roof was authentic or not, simply because I can't find any useful information on the place, but in the film the building is referred to as an abandoned school.

Mitchum goes back at night to case the joint and gets inside. The following night time shots are from this scene, but I have no idea if they were filmed on location or in a the studio. I'm going to take a gamble and say they were on location simply because I am an optimist...


I've put a location link in this post (it can be found at the bottom), based on Thomas' comments below (i.e. Block 6 Jubilee Garden)

6 comments:

  1. Hi Phil,

    Ho Tung Lau is located in the vicinity of present day MTRC East Rail Fo Tan Depot, very close to Fo Tan Station with Jubilee Garden on top of it. This Wiki entry mentioned the original location should be around tower 6 of Jubilee Garden (http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%BE%A1%E9%BE%8D%E5%B1%B1). There was also a squatter village in its namesake (Ho Tung Lau Village: http://hkhiso.itsc.cuhk.edu.hk/history/gallery/22)

    T

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    1. thanks T, it looks like the Chinese wiki is slightly more detailed, although the Chinese page for the place itself looks about as vague as the English one :-)

      Many thanks.

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  2. Hi Phil,

    It used to be the sea side, you know. The same wiki entry also mentioned there used be a military installment around, some sort of a barrack.

    On the other hand, I remember there used to be some Scount or Girl Guide activity centre there back in the 1970's.

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    1. I posted a couple of pictures on a Facebook group a while back, and a couple of comments came back. One from someone who used to play on the beach nearby, and another comment from a former policeman who said he had been there on training once - I think they used the building for "storming" practice.

      Actually, if you look at the background carefully, you can just see some of the sandy floor where, I believe, they had already started reclamation work for the racecourse etc.

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    2. actually, here is a good link that shows some more photos and where the guys have managed to pinpoint the location fairly well:
      http://www.uwants.com/viewthread.php?tid=15184666&extra&page=22

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    3. have updated the post to reflect the new information provided by Thomas.

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