Monday, 28 May 2018

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Siu Lam, Tuen Mun

The final scene in the film, as the remaining characters make a dash for the Hong Kong border while being pursued by Communist soldiers, was filmed out in a small place called Siu Lam in Tuen Mun District. It's a small valley that was no doubt once part of a river before the Tai Lam Chung reservoir blocked up part of it.

The latter picture is the view from - at a guess - about halfway between the Tai Lam Chung reservoir dam and the coast. I initially thought the flat bit in the distance was the area now filled by the Palatial Coast development, but I think - centre left - you can just make out the cutting where the old Castle Peak Road went through the area. If so, this would put the actors somewhere near today's Hong Fai Road - just to the left of where the aforementioned modern residential stands. The flat area in front is therefore where a modern day barbeque centre stands, right next to the beach. The coastline in the distance is the north coast of Lantau Island.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Holy Spirit Seminary, Sham Wan

In a first for this blog (as far as I can remember anyway) we get to visit the Holy Spirit (aka Aberdeen) Seminary as a filming location. The place has been around since the early 30's and has always cropped up - usually in the background - on many of the films that I have covered here. But this is the first time I've got to see it up close on film.

In the movie it is the "Bell Temple" where the entrance to the Emperor's tomb is located. The medallion of the film title turns out to be an intricate map indicating where the entrance is within the city.

Aside from looking pretty cool, this Christian insititute is also one of the excellent examples of Chinese Renaissance architecture that are dotted around the territory.

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

After escaping the clutches of the nefarious Triad and its beautiful leader, Nancy Kwan, Stack is given a lift back to his hotel by the dodgy police chief he has befriended. What follows is a brief sequence shot from a car as it travels down Nathan Road at the Kwun Chung/Tsim Sha Tsui end.

The initial screen grab shows the start of the sequence just before the junction of Nathan Road with Austin Road, followed by the junction itself where you can see the "National Radios" sign on the corner building.

 Next up are some of the famous Nathan Road banyan trees as we move further south, followed by the junction with Hillwood Road. The shophouses with their pavement columns have long since gone but the white building on the corner below is still around. It's the A. Kun Lok Building. It's nice a shiny here because it was brand new in 1966. These days it has changed a bit but is still recognisable.

Next up you can just make out the old wall of St Andrew's Church. This has now been assigned to history itself because the church knocked it down to building a new auditorium called the Life Centre. There was a significant amount of opposition given the age of the wall and the fact that it was a bit more picturesque than the big ugly thing that has replaced it, but there you have HK in a nutshell. On a plus point the church did retain the old entrance archway.

And the greatest irony of all is the fact that all this went on right next door to the so-called Antiquities and Monuments Office - located in the former Kowloon British School building. Built in 1902, you can see its arches in the last picture below.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Ching Chun Koon, Tuen Mun

The occupants of the car that was following Stack along Lai Chi Kok Road are members of a local Triad (led by Nancy Kwan) who also want the medallion. So they inite Stack to their HQ on the pretext of him doing a photo shoot for their boss. The HQ turns out to be Ching Chun Koon in Tuen Mun, quite a popular location on this blog already. The circular moon gate is still around and you can see the more famous ornate archway (Pai Lau) in the gap through the moon gate.

Friday, 25 May 2018

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po

Further on his his trip, Stack finds himself followed by a car and gets the rickshaw to stop to find out who it is. In true geography-stretching movie land though he is actually about 2 miles back to the north, traveling along Lai Chi Kok Road in Sham Shui Po.

How can I tell it's Lai Chi Kok Road? The most obvious clue is the corner of the Sham Shui Po police station that can be seen sicking out behind Stack at the end of the row of shophouses in the top two pictures. Until the police went for the current grey/blue paint scheme on the outside of their stations they had a sort of beige/brown thing going on which can be seen in the picture. By the position in the second picture, it looks as though Stack's rickshaw is just passing Kweilin Street.

Actually, this part of Sham Shui Po still has a lot of 60's era buildings and another example is the building on the far left of this third picture. It's the one painted red at the front. It's the Chew Onn building (yup) at 369-367 Lai Chi Kok Road and was built in 1964.

In the next two grabs, the scene has moved down the road a fair distance but there are still buildings that help us identify the exact location. The first one is the distant curved tenement just behind the rear of the bus in the first picture. This building (the Kon Hing Building) still stands at he junction of Lai Chi Kok Road with Nam Cheong Street. But there is also the closer grey building with the blank wall and windows at the end of the bus in the second picture. This is also still around and is at 219-221 Lai Chi Kok Road. It is just next to the junction with Shek Kip Mei Street which puts Stack just around the junction with Wong Chuk Street.

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Ferry Street, Yau Ma Tei

After dropping Elke back off at the floating casino, Stack grabs a rickshaw and heads back to his hotel. One of the roads he goes donw on this journey is Ferry Street right next to the old waterfront of the Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter. The last picture is of course looking up Public Square Street with the Yaumatei Police Station visible on the right hand side.

Coincidentally, another film shot the very same year also used this location. Here's a reminder.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Tsuen Wan Chinese Permanent Cemetery, Tsuen Wan

The earliest use of the Tsuen Wan Chinese Permanent Cemetery so far on this blog was in 1977's Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon, however, with The Peking Medallion we now have an even earlier date of 1967.

I'll be honest, when I first watched this film and saw this scene I was a bit confused about where it could be due to the complete lack of surrounding development. The views from this place before the onset of massive development in Tsuen Wan were really quite impressive.

regarding the film plot, this is where Stack's recently murdered buddy is being buried (and Stack has put the medallion in the coffin with him), so it's a place that we keep coming back to several times, each one offering a slightly different view/angle. Our first view of it is a huge left to right pan that takes in most of the eastern side of the cemetery.

Then a nice view looking back the other way from the hilltop taking in much of the are we just saw in the pan.

The following screen grab shows us looking back the other way. The hill in the background is actually Tai Mo Shan - Hong Kong's tallest peak - and the shot with the taxi is looking the same way. Yes, that is Elke Sommer. She plays the dead man's wife.

Stack goes back later in the film only to find that the coffin has been exhumed and the medallion has been pinched. The hills in the background of this shot belong to Tsing Yi island.

And a final trip to pick up the hidden medallion, although no big views here, just some real graves that I may have to go and find one day.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Kowloon Wharves, Tsim Sha Tsui

Stack's buddy, who saved him on his speedboat at the beginning of the film, is murdered for the medallion (which he has already given to Stack). The body is found down at the wharves in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Stack's hotel is called the Paloma Hotel but we're not told where it is. However, a quick bit of investigation shows that it is most likely Kimberley Road thanks to the sign on the outside of the building that shows its real name - although it's only at a later point in the film when this is revealed (see the bottom picture). The Luna Building: 月仙樓.

This grand old building doesn't exist anymore and it's replacement, Luna Court, a modern residential unit, was built in 1988. More interestingly is the row of tenements on the other side of the road because a couple of these still stand today at 42-44 and 50-52 Kimberley Road.

Monday, 21 May 2018

The Peking Medallion - Robert Stack (1967) - Aberdeen, Hong Kong

After landing the boat and agreeing to go for a quick drink, the pair suddenly materialise in Aberdeen for their trip to the boozer. So this means our fictional Hong Kong seaside village is now an amalgam of Sai Kung, Tuen Mun and Aberdeen. I wonder whose car that was parked on the road?