Thursday, September 4, 2014

Kill a Dragon - Jack Palance (1967) - Stanley, Hong Kong

Back from my hols (hence the lack of activity here over the past few weeks) and here is one that for a while I was a bit flummoxed with until a penny dropped and then I just felt like slapping myself for being an idiot.

The scene is immediately following the scuffle at the bad guy's mansion (supposedly in Macau but actually close to today's Gold Coast development) when the heroes do a runner and hide in a local market. Only it's not really a local market but one that is actually located - as the crow flies - 30 km away!

It is of course Stanley, albeit a previous version which is virtually unrecognisable today.

This first shot appears to be the entrance road to what is now called Stanley New Street (perhaps it was always called this?) which leads into Stanley Market Road and Stanley Main Street.
the main. If you have ever visited Hong Kong and done the touristy thing, then chances are you will have walked down this little slip road because the buses drop you off just a little up the slope. In case you need a reminder, here it is today (courtesy of Streetview). Notice the retaining wall at the middle and back - I wonder if some of those large blocks are the same ones that are visible in the film? The slope has been remodeled of course, but there's no reason why the remodeling didn't incorporate existing features. Any experts out there - please feel free to comment.

Following on are a few shots of the small alleyways and streets that made up this part of Stanley. Looking at the white gate below I think I can just make out Stanley's Chinese name (赤柱) in small letters underneath the arch, but that just be my poor eyesight...!

The gang escape their pursuers by boarding their boat that is tied up, conveniently, on a little spur of rock that is still around but on the side we see below (as they are running down the steps) has been completely redeveloped to create the new seafront area.

Yes, this was when Stanley Bay had a proper beach. All the sand has pretty much been built on by now to facilitate the extension of the road and seafront into the bay. Anyway, the opposite headland that we can see in the shot below is part of the Chung Hom Kok peninsula. Still looks pretty much the same in terms of shape but of course has the inevitable addition of residences now.

And for the shot below we can see the Stanley Peninsula behind Jack Palance's head. There's a big residential complex there now called Regalia Bay and beyond that (hidden from view) is the Stanley Fort barracks - now a PLA barracks.

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