Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cracker: White Ghost - Robbie Coltrane (1996) - Views over Central

I must admit I wasn't much of a Cracker fan when it was on UK television and the only reason I ever watched this special extended episode was because it was filmed in Hong Kong at around the time I was first visiting. There are a few familiar names associated with this episode including Neil MacDonald and Mark King. Neil was of course heavily involved in many of the films already covered by this blog and you can read some of his anecdotes in the link on his name. Another chap is Mark King (now Dr Mark King PhD) who was one of the sailor thugs in the dance scene in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (he's the rather big chap holding his cap in the second picture in the link) and he also had a role in the opening scenes of Detonator 2: Night Watch when he gets shot. He was the stunt coordinator and stunt man for this feature length episode.

The production was involved in a little bit of controversy when filming in Wanchai and poor old Neil was kidnapped by triads following an altercation between Dr Mark and a local thug and the rest you can read about in Martin Booth's rather excellent "Dragon Syndicates" book. Anyway, thankfully both are still alive and well and have moved on from the movie world.

The opening scene is very similar to the previously looked at Rush Hour 2 with a sweeping helicopter shot that starts at the back end of HK Island and pops over the mountain range to reveal the city below.

The various bits that are missing and under construction are a great reminder of my first trip to HK in late 95. The Cheung Kong Centre had yet to appear next to the Bank of China building (it was replacing the recently demolished famous Hilton Hotel) and you can see the new wing of the Convention Centre under construction in the harbour.

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