Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Million Eyes of Sumuru - George Nader (1967) - Rawlinson House Now and Then

As promised, I made the trip over to Hong Kong Park today to grab some modern comparisons of the scenes we can see in The Million Eyes of Sumuru. It's hard to believe that 1967 is almost 50 years ago and yet some places in Hong Kong haven't really changed that much at all.

Anyway, below are my best efforts at comparison (I was doing it from memory rather). Picture one shows the view from near the entrance by Cotton Tree Drive. Obviously the tree growth obscures our more open view but the angle is more or less spot on.

Picture two shows the view from the top of the small road next to the entrance to Rawlinson House. Okay, so I was a bit further up the slope than intended but I think in the film grab the guys are only a little bit further down from where the kiosk is. I think, but this is obviously just a guess, that the kiosk is around where the right hand side gatepost was.

If you look closely at the picture below of the old garage, you might just be able to make out the steps that are behind it. I am hoping this is the same set of steps that are still in this part of the park. I would find it strange if steps had been removed and replaced so I am going to bet that the current steps up the hill are the same ones we see behind the garage. What do you think?

The picture below shows the building's front entrance (at least I assume this side was the front entrance and not the opposite end that looks onto Cotton Tree Drive). This is now the main entrance for the Marriage Registry that now occupies Rawlinson House. In the film, Frankie Avalon hides behind the central pillar when one of Sumuru's followers comes out to investigate what triggered the alarm.

And finally, once Avalon has entered the building, he stops by the window with the mismatched balustrades. Guess what, it's still there and I tracked it down to a window about halfway down the side of the building. It's not possible to see from the film because there's a tree in the way, but the balustrade on the far left of the window is in fact one of the original ones as you can see from my picture. How am I sure this is the same window? Well, none of the others had the same configuration of balustrades, so assuming nothing has changed since the filming then this appears to be the one.

Anyway, it was an interesting wander around the park today and it's nice to see this kind of stuff after 50 years. If anyone was stationed at the barracks back in the 60's it would be great to hear from anyone with any memories of the place and particularly if they recall the filming taking place.

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