Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Target Hong Kong - Richard Denning (1953) - Harbour view from the Peak

About the only other recognisable piece of footage from this film is a panning shot of the harbour from the peak. Only, there is something wrong with it. Can you tell what it is? I've merged the sequence into a fairly decent panorama below.

Well, if you haven't figured it out by now then I can tell you the whole sequence is flipped. I don't think it really mattered at the time because the level of HK knowledge of most of the US cinema going public in the early 50's was probably minimal and the sequence is quite quick, but it's always interesting to see how easy it was to flip a film without realising.

Anyway, I've flipped it to how it should look below but I was having problems reconciling the skyline with what I would have expected to see in 1953 when the film was made/released, so I went and asked the guys over at Gwulo for some help

If you click through to the link then you'll see they managed to narrow it down to around between 1935 and 1937. I'd already figured it must be post 1935 because the previous version of the HSBC headquarters is visible, but my upper limit was 1951, the year the Bank of China (now the old Bank of China) was built. It's missing in this panorama. Thanks to 'gw' who saw that the older version of Central Market is still visible. This was demolished in 1937 so the film was shot some time before then. So there you go, a film shot in 1953 was using stock footage from the 30's and no one even noticed.

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