Monday, March 9, 2015

That man Bolt - Fred Williamson (1973) - Stone Manor, Sassoon Road, Pok Fu Lam

Stone Manor is the next location we see and what a great place it is. When this film was being made the house had just been bought (in 1970) by the (in)famous Henry Fok. Fok was one of the many multi-millionaires (actually a billionaire by the time he died) who made a significant amount of his vast fortune through enterprising (but morally dubious means) during the Japanese Occupation.

He must have been a film fan because it appears that the crew had the run of the whole property, and possibly the interior as well - although there are no confirmed pictures of the interior that can help us identify it or not. But anyway, here are some shots from the exterior and garden taken during the party scene in the evening time.


Some terrible kung fu is on display and I think the expression on Fred's face below says it all as he looks down on the events from one of the house's balconies.


The initial part of the sequence though shows Bolt talking to the house owner - some crooked Japanese dude - and it is possible that these were filmed on location. I'm only guessing though. Comments welcome. It seems as though when the Govt initiated their long overdue Heritage study (encompassing over 1000 buildings and sites in the territory), the occupiers (I'm assuming still the bickering Fok siblings) wouldn't let anyone in to take photos, so we just have to assume and hope that perhaps this is a rather unique view inside a very private home.

 Inside the Fok residence...or not?

Moving on and we have some better scenes shots during the day when Bolt makes his final assault on the bad guy's house.


The wall in the top couple of grabs looks a bit fake to me, but I can confirm this was the actual wall and gateway of the place. It's still there but is now covered in ivy. In the third shot we can see a white building in the distance - I'm no expert on this area of HK (or any area of the Island for that matter), but I suspect this is part of Queen Mary Hospital. Comments welcome.

Also in the third picture we can see a decent portion of the house including the round pavilion on the side of the property. The fourth picture shows the main bad guy looking out from the same balcony/verandah that Fred was on when he was watching the bad kung fu. Finally the lower picture shows us the other side of the garden which, according to the blurb over at Gwulo, is part of the servant's quarters and garage. Look to the left and you can see a small terrace overlooking what was, at the time, a rather picturesque Telegraph Bay. These days Telegraph Bay has been filled in and instead we have the monstrous (by monstrous, I mean 'white elephant' size) joke that is Cyberport.

Anyway, here is a quick grab courtesy of Streetview that shows some of the same portion seen on film as well as the outer wall and the gate seen in the last picture.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Phil,

    As for the buildings in the background, there were some greyish low rises in the screen capture. Those were likely the old Ebenezer School for the blind. The whitish high rise I'm not familiar with. Probably need some older maps to check with.

    T

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    1. I hadn't even seen those ones, Thomas. Sounds like somewhere I should be attending myself...:-/

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  2. Hi Phil,

    I was uncertain until I downloaded the JPG and blow it up. I think Jessville is in the screen capture in the far right. The high-rise looked like residential, but it does not match the current building.

    T

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    1. Blimey Thomas, you've got a keen pair of eyes on you. I think you may be right, I can just make out a what looks to be the cupola at the front.

      I guess the unknown block seems to be in front of the hospital on Pokfulam Road - perhaps the precursor to today's "Royalton" or "Radcliffe". I guess that's what you meant earlier.

      Cheers
      Phil

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  3. Hi Phil,

    Maybe a bit above Pok Fu Lam Road. There is a Government quarters around there under demolition now which seem to show itself in your street view capture. Might be the precursor of it. I guess some 1970-80 street maps should be able to give us the names of the high rises.

    T

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