Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Queen's Ransom - George Lazenby (1976) - 41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon Tong

Two houses are used in the film. One of them (yet to be located) is the hideaway where the criminals are holed up as they instigate various parts of their plan. The second house is the house where Tanny Tien Ni (last seen in this blog starring alongside Tamara Dobson in Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold) lives. This latter one is in fact 41 Cumberland Road aka Bruce Lee's old house in Kowloon Tong.

However, there is an odd bit of editing going on because in one scene where the criminals are all chilling out in their back garden and Yang Sze (aka Bolo Yeung) gets into a fight with Wang Yu. The fight starts off at the criminals house but then for some odd reason there is an edit and the fight continues but this time, and quite obviously for anyone familiar with Bruce Lee's old house, in the garden of 41 Cumberland Road. These are the screen grabs I've put up below - you can recognise the "Roman" wall frieze on the garden wall and the old Japanese bridge.

The fight then cuts back to the original house where the crew are staying. But Bruce's house pops up again as Charles Heung (yes, THAT Charles Heung) goes to visit Tanny under some some of protection detail. While he is there she gets a visit from the Wang Yu et al and Heung hides on the balcony. Again, all this was filmed on the first floor balcony of Bruce's house.

Believe it or not, those columns still exist but have been integrated into the house when it was concreted over into its current box shape. What a pity because it was a really nice looking house. Anyway, then we get a view down to the driveway from the balcony as well as a quick look inside the bedroom as Heung re-enters once the baddies have gone. You can just see the famous entrance gate through the gap between Heung and the screen door.

And finally, although I have no proof, I think this last shot shows the internal staircase. I guess this must have not been long after the place was bought by Yu Pang-lin.

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Queen's Ransom - George Lazenby (1976) - Cross Harbour Tunnel, Kowloon

Several shots were filmed from the walkway over the Hong Chong Road which leads down into the original Cross Harbour Tunnel. The walkway connects Hung Hom Station with what is now a vastly more expanded HK Polytechnic University. The new Hung Hom Station was on the Queen's itinerary for her 1975 trip and she did a plaque unveiling there on May 5th, however he trains didn't start using the new station until much later in the year. By the time this film was made it was already in full operation.

A Queen's Ransom - George Lazenby (1976) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

Views inside and outside of the old airport in this film. The interior shots are from the film itself showing Lazenby (in this film he portrays an IRA assassin) arriving with his accomplice. The exterior shots are the archive footage from the Queen's visit (that's her in the lower picture).

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Queen's Ransom - George Lazenby (1976) - Central, Hong Kong

A Queen's Ransom is the last of the three films that George Lazenby was obligated to complete after he had signed up to Golden Harvest expecting to work with Bruce Lee back in 1973. It revolves around an assassination plot against Queen Elizabeth II during her famed 1975 trip to Hong Kong. You may remember that the French film, Bons Baisers de Hong Kong, also used this trip as the plot for the film and both that and A Queen's Ransom use archive footage from that trip to establish scenes and follow the plot as the police try to protect their Royal guests.

And so the introduction to this film uses quite a bit of archive footage shot around Central, showing some of the sights and sounds going on at the time. So here are a few screengrabs.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stoner - George Lazenby (1974) - Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The bar where Stoner goes to investigate the "happy pill" was the Hawaii Bar at 56 Cameron Road (location courtesy of Vanessa's bar card found here). The block it was in is called Long Kee Mansion and is still around, although the bar has long disappeared from the scene.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stoner - George Lazenby (1974) - Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront, Kowloon

In one scene, Stoner goes to get on a boat and is stopped by the bad guys who have come to beat him up. The location is the old waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui right in front of the old KCR terminus. Look carefully at the background and you can see some of the recognisable brickwork of the clocktower (bottom picture). This also goes some way to show how much the waterfront has been extended since the station was demolished.

Stoner - George Lazenby (1974) - The Peninsula Hotel, Kowloon

Stoner stays at The Peninsula Hotel whilst in town and we get to see the interior of one of the rooms as well as the usual exterior and lobby shots.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ein Sarg aus Hong Kong - Heinz Drache (1964) - Castle Peak Road, Kowloon

Here's one I forget to post several weeks ago. It is a car-based scene in Ein Sarg aus Hongkong with the three actors driving along (for real, no crappy back projection for this film) Castle Peak Road. This road is one of those long ones that goes on to form a large part of Route 9 that encircles the New Territories. However, the particular section we are looking at here is not far from its starting point (or end point, I guess, seeing as it is only eastbound traffic along this section) down in the Cheung Sha Wan part of Sham Shui Po District.

The top picture shows us a small section of the road just west of the junction with Tonkin Street, and the lower picture shows us that very same junction. The zig-zag style decoration of the building at the back of the second picture is where the current Hing Lung Building (202 to 210 Castle Peak Road) stands today. You can vageuly see the wall of the Tonkin Street nullah behind Heinz Drache's head as well. The nullah was covered up only recently (about 3 or 4 years ago).

Stoner - George Lazenby (1974) - Kau Sai Chau, Sai Kung

The bad guy's hideout is part of a temple complex somewhere near the coast. The temple itself is a studio set, but the lower entrance to the hideout is actually an old concrete box located on the southern coast of Kau Sai Chau in Port Shelter. Kau Sai Chau is perhaps better known for the its public golf course. We've actually seen the area in question a few times before on this log though. Jackie Chan filmed here for Project A back in 1983, you can see the post here.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stoner - George Lazenby (1974) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

As Stoner arrives from Australia in a Qantas jet, he is already being followed by the bad guys in the shape of Betty Ting Pei and Sammo Hung.

Stoner - George Lazenby (1974) - Central, Hong Kong

Stoner, also known as The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss, is the first in a series of three films that George Lazenby completed under contract to Golden Harvest. I already covered one of the three a while back (The Man from Hong Kong). What happened was that Lazenby had been to Hong Kong to sign on for the original Game of Death when it was still in pre-production with Bruce Lee. Lazenby was there to work with Bruce and my understanding is that The Man from Hong Kong was originally intended to be a Lee vehicle as well (as was Robert Clouse's Golden Needles which was also originally meant to star Lazenby). Sadly, Lee died whilst Lazenby was on his HK trip (he was supposed to be meeting him the night he died) but Raymond Chow being Raymond Chow made the ex-Bond star honour his recently signed film contract and the end result was Stoner, The Man from Hong Kong and finally, A Queen's Ransom.

This film also ties in with the documentary Kung Fu Killers because Lazenby was interviewed by Grant Page on that documentary whilst in the process of making this film and some BTS clips from it are included.

Despite being largely set in Hong Kong (as well as some shots in Sydney), there are surprisingly few locations to be found and most of the key scenes were done in the studio. But here is a brief shot of the Connaught Centre (as it was known then) as the Hong Kong establishing shot.

The panning shot finished looking over to the Mandarin Oriental and Furama Hotel (in the background). Ooh and before I forget here is another view of  some of the same buildings but from the vantage point of the harbour.