Saturday, April 29, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Tiger Balm Gardens, Tai Hang

I think we have seen Tiger Balm garden enough times on this blog for me to dispense with the usual brief description, so I shall just post some pictures. The place features fairly extensively in a couple of scenes so we get to see some areas that are not necessarily featured very often. It would be great to have a 3D map of the place so I could place all the locations, so if you know of one please let me know in the comments (and if there isn't one then that is a challenge to whoever reads this and has the ability to do that kind of stuff).

Remember that the garden's founder, Aw Boon Haw, was a staunch Nationalist/Kuomintang supporter, and I suspect that some of the Nationalist imagery in the garden was one of the reasons Li Ka-shing was so keen to bulldoze it post-handover. One example is the famous gate over the stairway that contained "Double Ten" references.

I personally believe the largest loss due to the redevelopment was, arguably, one of Hong Kong's most iconic pagodas. The white pagoda was a landmark and also highly ornate. It's a real shame that it wasn't kept along with the mansion.

You'll notice that the pagoda in this lower shot has the national emblem of the R.O.C on it. It's the famous blue sky with white sun emblem. Anyway, we'll finish off with some of the bizarre images that the garden was more famous for.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Nelson Street, Mongkok

Another night shot showing off some local colour, literally. I don't know what the shop was but I do know it was situated on the corner of Nathan Road and Nelson Street in Mongkok. The first shot shows us looking from Nathan Road at the shop front with Nelson Street on the left, and the second picture shows the view from the pavement outside the same shop looking south down Nathan Road. In the background you can just make out the lights of the Sun Ya Hotel which was on the opposite side of the road. The address we are at is 636 Nathan Road and it now has a commercial building called the Bank Centre.

Please feel free to comment about the shop if anyone has any information.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei

This one was a bit cheeky because it is related to the last post. In the scene the actor is standing in the middle of Nathan Road at the junction with Public Square Street and then looks right to see his reporter friend turn up in a yellow taxi. Only the taxi scene below was filmed over at the junction of Public Square Street and Shanghai Street - about 150 metres to the left.

Anyway, the giveaway here is the Yau Hing pawnshop (又興大押) that used to stand on the northwest corner of the aforementioned junction. In fact, it has cropped up on this blog before because Thomas once used the very same pawnshop to identify this location from the I Spy series. Thomas's identifications just keep on giving...thanks Thomas! ;-)

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei

Another shot along Nathan Road, this time we are at the junction of Nathan and Public Square Street. The identifier in this shot is the brown building with the balcony to the left of the first picture. It turns out that this was the former Yau Ma Tei Government School and Richard Wong has a few pictures of it on his FLICKR page.

Interestingly, it looks as though part of the space once occupied by the school playground was never redeveloped and simply left as a...playground! It looks as though the school's wall stayed in-situ until at least the late 1990's despite the rest of the building disappearing sometime in the mid-70's. I suspect the phone booth was a prop but if anyone knows differently then feel free to comment.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Aberdeen, Hong Kong

There are a couple of scenes filmed in and around Aberdeen and its famous harbour. Some interesting angles that I haven't seen too many times including a view from the top of the building that used to stand on the corner of Aberdeen Main Road as it turns past the old restaurant pontoon area. See below. I'm not too certain about where this building would have been relative to today's configuration, but perhaps it was where the rest garden now stands on the corner of Old Aberdeen Main Street - or whether it's where there is a row of new buildings on the corner of (new) Aberdeen Main Street?

 And then moving down to ground level for some familiar scenery around the waterfront area such as the pontoons for the restaurants, the cemetery in the background and of course the distinctive shape of the (new) Tai Pak that had been installed just recently (sometime after 1960 but before 1962).

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei

Yes, another shot from Nathan Road, again from the Yau Ma Tei area but this time looking north towards the junction with Waterloo Road. The interesting thing here is the fact that the English character in the film works as a reporter/journalist for the Hong Kong Tiger Standard. And here we see their offices back in 1962 at somewhere around where the Bangkok Bank building is found today.

The small block building in the background was at the junction with Waterloo Road (on the northern side of the road) but I have no idea what it was. Gwulo has a much clearer picture of it here, and I suspect the presence of a "telephone exchange" tag on that picture may be the explanation of what it was. Can anyone confirm?

Hong Kong Tiger Standard was the original name of the HK Standard newspaper, still in circulation but a sad shadow of its former self. The tiger in the original title came from the founder, Aw Boon Haw, who is more famous in HK for his Tiger Balm empire. The politics of the paper (and it's Chinese sister paper, Sing Tao) is now very much pro-CCP - a far cry from its early pro-Kuomintang stance. In fact, one of its former Editors-in-Chief is Robert Chow - a name familiar to a large "silent majority" of Hong Kongers who actually secretly want to punch him.

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei

Some more Nathan Road, this time looking south near the modern day junction with Gascoigne Road. We know this because the signs are for the (relatively) newly built Alhambra Building. The building replaced a same named art-deco theatre at the corner of Kansu St and Nathan Road in 1960. The building is actually still around although the nightclub and other businesses have long gone. You can see a daytime version of the top picture at this link.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Nathan Road, Mongkok

Another in-car view, there seems to be quite a few of these in this film. This one is taken along the Mongkok section of Nathan Road. We know this because there is a famous restaurant in the background called the King Wah Restaurant (the white building behind the bus). The restaurant was located at 628 Nathan Road (today's King Wah Centre) on the corner of Shantung Street.

Judging from the distance I would hazard a guess that the car was somewhere just north of the junction with Dundas Street. Note the film adverts on the left hand side. HK has a great heritage in excellent film artwork, and it looks as though the scaffolding surrounding a construction site was a popular place to put them up. At first I thought it may have been the front of a cinema, but I am not sure there were any along there in 1962?

Edit: Going through some later screen shots and I realised that some more film had been shot along this particular stretch of Nathan Road with a better view of the film posters.

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei

Another from-the-car perspective as we drive southbound along Shanghai Street between the junctions it shares with Public Square Street and Market Street. This one is a bit of a blur but it is the Shanghai Street end of the former public market that stood on what is now the open public square in front of the Yau Ma Tei Tin Hau Temple.

The final couple of screenshots show us looking up Market Street towards the temple. Note the considerable lack of taller buildings on the other side of the temple (Nathan Road). A similar view taken the year after shows that the On Cheung Building had already been built at the back.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay

Whoops! I missed this one when I was looking at Yee Wo Street just a few posts ago. The reason is because it is in the same sequence, just seen, as the car leaves the ferry pier and drives back up Jordan Road. The giveaway in this sequence of shots is the unmistakable presence of the Great George Building with its old Daimaru signs at the top. True fact: There are still red minibuses in HK that use "Daimaru" as a destination on their front sign boards, even though the pace closed many years ago.

So it looks as though the film posters were perhaps attached to scaffolding that was shielding the site of the -yet-to-be-constructed Hong Kong Mansion building on the corner of Gt. George Street, East Point Road and Yee Wo St. This means that funky curved building is the precursor to the modern day Island Beverley and the smaller buildings on the left are on the opposite side of East Point Road and were replaced by the old wing of the East Point Centre - which, of course, has hosted SOGO for many years.

Does anyone remember what was in that nice curved building? It's a really nice looking building and far more stylish with the big gold box that replaced it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Jordan Road, Kwun Chung

Speaking of Jordan Road, one of the next shots we see is the viewpoint from the car driving along Jordan Road, albeit back towards the ferry pier. The two curvy buildings seen on the picture are still around - at least assuming I am correct in my identification (corrections welcome, as always).

It looks like the nearer curved building is the still standing Woo Sung House (built 1960) with a vertical blue sign for the Far East Bank Ltd. That means the building on the far right in the top picture is the precursor to today's Pak Shing Building with Woosung Street running between the two. In the background is another curved building that is still around. It's United Mansion and that particular section is Block A. Shanghai Street runs in front of it. Note the sign of a famous restaurant on a vertical blue signboard on the lower left of the bottom picture. It was the 雲天大茶樓 (Cloudy Sky Restaurant). The smaller buildings have all been replaced.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Jordan Road Ferry, Yau Ma Tei

This one is a bit more interesting compared to the usual Jordan Road ferry pier because of the red painted sign that appears in the background.

I might be wrong but this looks to me like an advert for the yet-to-be-built Ferry Point estate, or at least the first buildings on that estate that were erected. The smaller writing on the left in the lowest pictures says 建築地盤 (gin juk dei pun) which basically means "construction ground". But if you look at the larger characters on the left I believe they say 文英樓 (man ying lau) i.e. Man Ying Building which is the name of one of the blocks within the estate. Along with the neighbouring Man Yuen Building these two were the first in the estate to be built and were open by 1964 - two years after this film was made. The picture on the wall is the artists impression of how the estate would look after completion. It's a pity we can't see it in higher resolution.

So it looks like the movie caught the area just prior to the building work being started for the Ferry Point Estate.

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - 41a Conduit Road, Midlevels

Most people will recognise this building as the one that stood in for the hospital in Love is a many-Splendored Thing, with Jennifer Jones running up the terraced hillside at the back of the property. In this film it stands in for itself - as the Foreign Correspondents Club. Before it was the FCC, it was a private villa, called The Fairview, owned by the Mok family.

We don't get to see quite as much of the place as we did in the other film but seeing as the place has long since been confined to history, any glimpse is a bit of a treat for nostalgia fans.

Heisser Hafen Hongkong - Horst Frank (1962) - Fei Ngo Shan, Kowloon

Immediately following the car around Peak Road it suddenly appears on Clearwater Bay Road about to turn up Fei Ngo Shan Road up to Fei Ngo Shan (aka Kowloon Peak). I can't say for sure if the scenes between the turning into the road and arriving at the top are all filmed on Fei Ngo Shan Road, but it wouldn't surprise me. Once at the top there are some great views to be had.

Clearwater Bay Road into Fei Ngo Shan Road

At the top the car gets stuck in the passageway where Fei Ngo shan Road crests the ridge. We've seen this section of the road multiple times on this blog but most recently was here (second picture down).

Next we have a rather spectacular car crash down the side of the hill. I doubt this sort of stunt would be allowed so easily now, but you never know.

Lion Rock can be seen on the left with Beacon Hill beyond. 
There's that cutting again in the background
Those hillocks in the centre now have an electricity pylon on them

Finally, there's a really spectacular view over to the actual peak of Kowloon Peak/Fei Ngo Shan. That ridge is fairly overgrown now but still has a trail along it.