Saturday, September 5, 2015

Revenge of the Pink Panther - Peter Sellers (1978) - Un Chau Manon Godown Company, Kowloon

The finale of the film takes place in one of the dockyards that used to sit along the Yau Ma Tei/Tsim Sha Tsui harbour front. In the film it's called the Lee Kee Shipyard but in reality it was a waterfront godown area owned by the Un Chau Manon Godown Company Ltd - a real company that had ceased operations in 1976 - two years prior to filming, so I guess the area was empty and available for filming.

Unfortunately for me, this area of Kowloon has changed so significantly since filming that it is really difficult to relate film locations to current maps. However, some of the background clues (plus an old photo or two) indicate that the place was located at the western end of Austin Road just south of where a new development called "Grand Austin" is being built. The Grand Austin is being built on the site of what used to be the Canton Road Government Offices. Consisting of two blocks the former offices can be seen in the near background (behind the cylindrical storage silos) in the two pictures below. This block was the first one to be demolished when Austin Station was built and so disappeared quite some time ago. The remaining, larger, of the two blocks (it can't be seen here but would be off screen to the right, facing Canton Road) was still around until about 2011 when it was finally demolished. The following picture is embedded from Googlemaps because it looks as though Google have gone and done a sneaky thing and disabled my snipping tool for use within Maps...grrr!


Anyway, in the far background of the screencaps below you can also see the recognisable shapes of the various Man buildings of the Ferry Point Estate. These blocks are still around and because they were built in the 1960's often provide a nice reference marker for figuring out where things used to be.


Based on the angle and known position of where the Govt block used to stand, the best Streetview angle I can provide is below - it shows the southern end of Austin MTR Station which stands pretty much where the Govt block was. You can just make out the Ferry Point Estate in the distance.


Here's another shot (below) that shows the dock area from the sea looking inland. It shows the same bit of dock that Kato has just crashed off in his Dairy Farm Ice cream dispensing motorbike.


Take a good look at the background because you can just see a couple of buildings poking up behind the Un Chau Manon Godown Co Ltd. sign. Hey presto, all we need to do in Streetview is swivel to the right and you can see those buildings are still standing. The blue meshed building in front of them is the Grand Austin being erected on the site of the other Govt block.


These two buildings stand at the corner of Austin and Canton Road and are called the Wai Hang Building (built 1966) on the left and the Wai On Building (built 1962) on the right.

Our final image involves another turn to face the south, looking towards HK Island. You can see the various other dock areas that used to line the western side of the peninsula around Tsim Sha Tsui. All have been replaced by buildings such as China Hong Kong City, The Gateway etc


The view is slightly restricted in our Streetview image because there is still so much development going on in this part of Kowloon but at least you can still make out the matching ridge lines.

4 comments:

  1. Hi there, so for sure you don't know if the place exists any more? im currently making a drawing so if you know any futher knoweldge would help, thanks for your amazing site! Has anyone ever done a full scale drawing of hong kong in films before?

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    1. Hi, no. As you can see from the streetview pictures it doesn't exist anymore - the whole area has been redeveloped and reclaimed etc. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by a full scale drawing of HK in films..

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    2. Your work on the chanel is incredible but has anyone actually sat down with a detailed plan of the city and marked it before?

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    3. many thanks. If you mean a map of all film locations, then I don't think so. There are just too many films to consider....thousands of local films, plus maybe hundreds of foreign film productions (i have around 90+ so far on this site but I am sure there are many more that didn't see a wider release).

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