Monday, 30 March 2015

Emmanuelle 2 - Sylvia Kristel (1975) - Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

Here is a great find by Thomas Ngan from my "help me" page. It's a seemingly unidentifiable piece of the tramline with generic buildings here and there - the usual problem for me when it comes to HK, because everything looks the same.

However, Thomas has a very keen eye and has been able to identify the actual street corner courtesy of a shop sign that looks to be almost unchanged in 40 years...unbelievable!

Take note of the Rolex and Tudor signs in the top picture - here is the same sign today, taken from streetview on the northern side of Hennessy Rd where it joins with Percival Street. The buildings at the back right include the still-standing (as you can see) Po Hon Building (built 1967) further up Percival St. The shop the sign belongs to is (still) called the "La Suisse Watch Company Ltd" and the building itself is the East South Building at 475 - 481 Hennessy Road.

Anyway, once again many thanks to Thomas for his keen-sightedness.

Shatter - Stuart Whitman (1974) - Argyle Street, Mongkok

A quick one and an area that hasn't changed too much up to now and that is Argyle Street next to the Water Supplies Dept office at the junction with Sai Yee St.

The Water Supplies Building is the low rise one on the left hand side and the tall white building at the back is the precursor to today's "Glen Haven" apartment block. Look carefully and you can also make out the KCR rail bridge in the distance. One thing I am surprised to still see is the single column on the right. Looking at our Streetview image below, I would hazard a guess that the same column is still there today - a leftover from when the original shophouses were developed into Hong Lok Mansion back in 1959.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Shatter - Stuart Whitman (1974) - Lockhart Road, Wanchai

Our first glimpse of Peter Cushing (who was, coincidentally, recently recreated via CGI for the Star Wars: Rogue One film) as a rather nasty Hong Kong copper is when he gets out of a car on Lockhart Road in Wanchai. There are some key establishment signs that tell us where we are located. Including the San Francisco Topless bar, Butterfly Club Topless, Boston Bar (was next door to the Butterfly) and Ocean Bar.

San Francisco
Butterfly Club
Boston Bar
Ocean Bar

For a great collection of Wanchai pictures at around the same era (including some very similar signs seen here) I recommend Doug's extensive collection of slides and bar cards over on Flickr. Links below.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Shatter - Stuart Whitman (1974) - Around Connaught Road Central

A few shots that I figured were worth combining because they are all really closely clustered around the small area where Edinburgh Place meets Connaught Road.

First we see (albeit a bit blurry in the background) the old Edinburgh Place carpark. It's still going strong as I write but who knows how long that will last. I've stuck a rough comparison after each one courtesy of Streetview.

The next one shows somewhere that has changed. A little further around Edinburgh Place (it's a small loop road that runs around the carpark) is the view of the old Star Ferry Pier which was still there until 2006.

As you can see the view these days is slightly less inspiring and I think most people will agree that HK is worse off now this area has changed.

Next we pop over a few metres to Connaught Road with a view down towards the old G.P.O. We can still see part of the old roof of the subway on the right. The subway is still there of course (though now there is less reason to use it) but the roof has been put back significantly and replaced with a new structure. Also we can see the Mandarin Oriental on the left and St George's Building behind it. Both buildings are still here but the one behind those - Chater House - is a more recent build. The grand old G.P.O was replaced by Worldwide House and this has to be one of the biggest travesties of HK redevelopment because the old building was quite spectacular. There are still some other relics left over at the back but I did a better post on this here.

Finally, the camera turns and we get to see to the east from this point (the last shot is looking west). Another travesty of a heritage preservation as this grand old building, the Hong Kong Club, was removed to make way for the current version. City Hall can be seen on the left along with the Connaught Road end of the car park and the Cenotaph on the right hand side.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Shatter - Stuart Whitman (1974) - Cross Harbour Tunnel, East Tsim Sha Tsui

Here's one we haven't seen yet (unless you count the fake one from Double Impact), it's the original Cross Harbour Tunnel that joins Tsim Sha Tsui with Causeway Bay.

Once through the toll gates on the Kowloon side, we have a quick glimpse inside the tunnel before emerging into the daylight, Hong Kong-side.

It looked fairly bare on this side back in 1974, that patch of bare earth in the bottom snap now contains the Police Officer's Club. You can see the Excelsior Hotel in the background as well.

Shatter - Stuart Whitman (1974) - Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

A quick post regarding the former Hyatt Regency Hotel (and The President Hotel before that) demolished in 2006 and replaced by the perennially ugly iSquare mall. It's a brief glance during the opening credits of the film - hence the obscured screen capture.

The hotel is the building on the left with the flag poles above the bus, so this view is looking north up Nathan Road.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Yellowthread Street (TV Series) - Bruce Payne (1990) - Hung Hom Road, Kowloon

A scene with a car chasing Pak as the driver attempts to shoot him. This part was shot along Hung Hom Road in..erm...Hung Hom. It goes right through the centre of the main industrial estate and, as such, we can largely see factory and industrial buildings along the road.

All the buildings that can be seen at the far end of the road have gone, replaced by some school buildings in a couple of instance but some of the land is also still awaiting redevelopment. However, the factory buildings either side of the road in the bottom picture are still around. On the left hand side is the Focal Industrial Centre and on the right, built in the same style, is the Hang Ngai Jewelry Centre. Here's the Streetview showing a distinctly more green view of the road.

Interestingly, I have a friend who lives very close to here and apparently all the buildings south of Bailey Street have had height limits set due to an geotechnical engineering cock up when they were boring the large desalination works tunnel under the area.

Yellowthread Street (TV Series) - Bruce Payne (1990) - Po Toi O, Clearwater Bay

In episode 12 - Big Circle - Pak (Tzi Ma) has a contract on his head and heads into rural China to track down the people who want him dead. Except he doesn't really, all he does is head into the far end of the Clearwater Bay peninsula to a small fishing village called Po Toi O which stands in for a smuggler's port on the Mainland of China. Not to be confused with the island of Po Toi in the southern part of the territory (a name that will be familiar to John Le Carre fans).

Here's how the place looked back in the late 1980's.

And here is how it looks on the current Streetview release.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Shatter - Stuart Whitman (1974) - Princess Margaret Road, Ho Man Tin

A brief glimpse during the credits of the area just north of Hung Hom train station, in fact covering a bit of the road system we saw a short time ago when looking at That Man Bolt.

This bit is from the opening credits as Shatter is in a cab on the way to see he contractor. We see the car, from a distance, driving down Princess Margaret Road as it passes the eastern side of King's Park. Unfortunately it's impossible for me to recreate this same view using Streetview, because it looks as though the camera was mounted somewhere along Chung Hau Street. However, looking at the top screen grab there is a building we have encountered before: it's the British Military Hospital in Kowloon and can be seen far left in the picture below.

In case you need a reminder, it was used in an episode of Yellowthread Street that I covered last year. These days the site contains a rather large residential development called Parc Palais.

The bottom picture is at the end of a right to left pan and shows the subject car driving up the entry ramp onto what becomes Chatham Road South near to the intersection with Gascoigne Road. Here's a Streetview taken from the same road the car is travelling along, looking back north towards the KCR tunnel we can see in the top picture (with Parc Palais at the back).

Friday, 20 March 2015

Shatter - Stuart Whitman (1974) - Hong Kong International Airport, Kowloon

Just so that the viewers are aware that we are heading back to Hong Kong from deepest darkest Africa (a.k.a Repulse Bay), we are given the obligatory Kai Tak sequence with a landing plane coupled with some shots of the terminal interior.

Shatter - Stuart Whitman (1974) - Repulse Bay Hotel, Repulse Bay

Here's to a second installment of the Hammer/Shaw brothers' collaboration, the first one being the entertaining Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires which was filmed largely in and around Movietown in Clearwater Bay (hence the dearth of locations I found).

Thankfully for this film, being set in modern Hong Kong (well, 1970's HK at least), the crew were able to utilise some more familiar locatyiuons with some fairly decenty landmarks to be seen. First off the bat is the Repulse Bay Hotel which is supposedly a presidential palace in an unknown African country. Stuart Whitman, as Shatter, is an assassin sent there to kill the country's ruler.

Some nice shots of the front driveway and that very recognisable set of steps up to the main entrance and front verandah. The next shot shows what I believe to be part of the interior which I am hoping is the actual hotel, but seeing as there is no longer a way for me to confirm in person I am hoping someone who actually went there will be able to help. Does anyone remember this room, the foyer/lobby I guess, immediately behind the main verandah?

Lastly we get a sneak peak inside one of the rooms with a nice view over the bay out to the various islands there (Round Island is the big one, Tau Chau is the smaller on the right in the bottom picture).

Now, there seems to be a lot of confusion out there about the fate of this hotel because a replica of the main section of the hotel was built (apparently reusing the same stones from the original building) and turned into a mall/restaurant complex. Sadly, the original hotel was demolished in the early 80's to make way for The Repulse Bay apartment block. A great big monstrosity with a great big square hole in the middle of it.

The only remaining "original" piece of the hotel still around is the garage block on the opposite side of the road that is now the home of various car dealer concessions.