Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stoner - George Lazenby (1974) - Central, Hong Kong

Stoner, also known as The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss, is the first in a series of three films that George Lazenby completed under contract to Golden Harvest. I already covered one of the three a while back (The Man from Hong Kong). What happened was that Lazenby had been to Hong Kong to sign on for the original Game of Death when it was still in pre-production with Bruce Lee. Lazenby was there to work with Bruce and my understanding is that The Man from Hong Kong was originally intended to be a Lee vehicle as well (as was Robert Clouse's Golden Needles which was also originally meant to star Lazenby). Sadly, Lee died whilst Lazenby was on his HK trip (he was supposed to be meeting him the night he died) but Raymond Chow being Raymond Chow made the ex-Bond star honour his recently signed film contract and the end result was Stoner, The Man from Hong Kong and finally, A Queen's Ransom.

This film also ties in with the documentary Kung Fu Killers because Lazenby was interviewed by Grant Page on that documentary whilst in the process of making this film and some BTS clips from it are included.

Despite being largely set in Hong Kong (as well as some shots in Sydney), there are surprisingly few locations to be found and most of the key scenes were done in the studio. But here is a brief shot of the Connaught Centre (as it was known then) as the Hong Kong establishing shot.

The panning shot finished looking over to the Mandarin Oriental and Furama Hotel (in the background). Ooh and before I forget here is another view of  some of the same buildings but from the vantage point of the harbour.

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