Saturday, 27 August 2011

The World of Suzie Wong - William Holden (1960) - Former Kowloon Docks, TST

Most people who have visited HK will be familiar with Ocean Terminal and it's associated shopping mall, but did you know that before that place was built is was a working dock area that doubled as a cruise ship berth? Going back to 1960 and we can see what it looked like at. The beginning of the film involves a sequence where we see William Holden disembark his ship and walk all the way over to the Star Ferry where he first sees the beautiful Suzie. The working nature of the dock should be evident by the derricks and the rail tracks on the floor. This section of track actually ran all the way over to the KCR terminus so that goods could be loaded on/off the train. There is also a small turn circle on the floor (3rd picture) to allow a small goods rail truck to go to another part of the dock yard.

Notice the sign on the wall of the last picture that is advertising St Andrew's Church. I guess it was a slightly more religious era because, personally, after spending several weeks on a boat I would probably be more grateful of directions to a hotel and/or bar.

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Protector - Jackie Chan (1985) - Fei Ngo Shan, Kowloon

In the scene when JC calls up the kidnappers to arrange a deal he makes the call from a public telephone box atop one of Kowloon's most visible landmarks. You may not know its name - Fei Ngo Shan - but if you have been to HK you will undoubtedly have seen it from some point or other. There is actually a road that goes all the way to the top so you don't have to be a mountaineer or hiker to make it there but once at the top views all over the territory can be had.

In the next screen cap you can see what was Kai Tak airport behind JC. At the time of filming this was still a bustling part of the territory, now it's a wasteland waiting to be turned into a cruise ship terminal.

The Protector - Jackie Chan (1985) - Far East Finance Centre, Hong Kong Island

In the film it's used as the location of the baddy's (Roy Chiao) evil HQ, but in reality it's the Far East Financial Centre - a gold-coloured skyscraper that has been sitting on the HK waterfront since 1982. Seeing as the film was made in 1985 then I guess the film makers thought it represented the modern look of HK. To be honest its bright gold colour may remind the locals of a bar of gold but to me it just looks a bit tacky.