Saturday, 13 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Shek Kong Airfield, Shek Kong

I'm due another sojourn back to the UK next week, so before this blog goes idle until November, here is my last post on this film A Lotus for Miss Quon. Fittingly it's also the last scene in the film as everything gets resolved (for better or worse) as Mark Jason tries to make his escape to Hong Kong via helicopter.

The familiar profile of Tai Mo Shan in the background.

Friday, 12 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - On Lok Tsuen, Fanling

The (accidentally) dead undercover policeman has a girlfriend who turns up looking for him. The police chief tells her that he has probably gone off on a jolly somewhere and proceeds to have his men mow down the poor girl in the street next to the police station. In this case it was indeed the street next to the police station.

These days it's just an alleyway next to the World Trade Square building (that replaced the mansion that was the former Fanling Babies Home) but back in the 60's before the area was redeveloped it looked to be the northern part of Lok Tung Street. In the top image, the background buildings were on the corner of Luen Cheong Street and Luen Wo Road with the main Sha Tau Kok Road running in front of them.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Lam Kam Road, Lam Tsuen

One of the more unfortunate incidents of the film is when Jason has discovered the diamonds and is stopped from leaving the mansion by his servant, who just happens to be an undercover copper charged with keeping an eye on him in case the diamonds turn up.

A scuffle ensues and the poor cop is killed by accident and Jason undertakes an elaborate scheme to make the body look like a victim of a road crash. The body is dumped and later found by his corrupt boss. The actual location of the body dump is too difficult to find (for now) but the general area may have been in Lam Tsuen because the sequence where the cops park their car to investigate (i.e. look for the diamonds) was filmed along the Lam Kam Road in Lam Tsuen.

The hill in the far background is Lung Shan in Fanling which indicates that this scene was shot somewhere along Lam Kam Road close to the intersection with Tai Po Road. The nearest village would be San Uk Pai (新屋排) (behind the camera).

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

More familiar territory this time as Kai Tak stands in for the airport in Vietnam, as Blackie's brother arrives from HK to help with the diamond problem. The brother in this case is played by Werner Peters who played a corrupt but conflicted police chief in the recently looked at The Peking Medallion.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Yi Tai Study Hall. Shui Tau Tsuen

Further confirmation of my original guess concerning the whereabouts of the village seen during the film intro comes later in the film as Lang is surreptitiously arranging his exit from Vietnam with the local gangster. He has set up a meeting a the "Buddhist Temple" but has the police on his heels.

The so-called temple turns out to be the Yi Tai Study Hall in Shui Tau Tsuen (i.e. the village next to Shui Mei Tsuen), Kam Tin. I have yet to venture out this way for exploration (I did once go to Kat Hing Wai but it was many years ago) but a quick search for the building confirms that it is indeed the same place seen on film.

Monday, 8 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Kam Tin Road, Yuen Long

One of the random NT scenes I was telling you about looks to have been filmed along Kam Tin Road. The identifying object in this case is the hill in the background. It's the recognisable shape of Ho Hok Shan as seen from the east. There weren't many main roads in the area back ion the 1960's and Kam Tin Road lines up nicely with the angle on the hill. Also the locale tallies up quite nicely with the village from the intro where much of the story takes place. Anyway, I'm no stranger to Ho Hok Shan and was up there with the Gwulo bunch a few years ago looking at military relics.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Salisbury Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui

One of the only locations filmed outside of the NT appears to be this brief shot showing the Venus Bar. It's supposedly the club where Miss Quon works and Jason goes to relax. It's also owned by a shady character called Blackie with whom Jason tries to hatch a plan to escape to HK with the diamonds.

In real life the Venus Bar was on Salisbury Avenue in TST (#14) but if you try and look for that name now you won't find any modern reference to it. I'm not sure of the why or when but the street name was changed to Hau Fook Street. It's a small dead end off Carnarvon Road nestled about halfway between Cameron  and Granville Roads. I think the film was shot in 1966 (according to an online interview with Sal Borgese) so I'm not sure if Savoy Mansion (the building occupying the address and built that same year) is the building on screen.

Friday, 5 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Kam Tin, New Territories

The opening sequence of the film involves a panning shot around a rural village that sits next to a body of water. The location of the hills in the background indicates that this is somewhere in Kam Tin and suspect it may be in or around Shui Mei village. Of course, 50+ years of change make this one a difficult one to pinpoint exactly but it so happens that Shui Mei is next to some ponds and the angle on the hills at the back make it close enough for me to assume it was at least somewhere close.

 The hill in the last two images is Kai Kung Leng which sits to the north of Kam Tin.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Golden Hill Road, Kowloon Reservoir

One of the key actions sequences of the film occurs when Jason and his girlfriend (Miss Quon played by Francesca Tu) tries to hot foot it over the "border". Seeing as this story is set in Vietnam I am unsure which border it is (take your pick from China, Laos, Cambodia) but the plan is foiled by guerrillas who launch an attack on them and the border police as they just manage to cross. They're targeted because they are driving a US Embassy diplomatic vehicle, not because the attackers knew who they were. Anyway, this scene was shot around the main dam wall at Kowloon Reservoir (we had some similar action here for A Queen's Ransom).

They approach the border from Tai Po Road end, but then are filmed driving the opposite way over the dam wall (i.e. back towards the section they were on in the first two images).

Entering the "border" area from Tai Po Road (unseen but at top of slope)

Driving over the dam wall back towards area just seen above
Police hut (it gets blown up by guerrillas) at the eastern end of the dam
Policeman is shot by guerrilla (think it might have been Yuen Siu-tien...)
Jojo (Sal Borgese) watches it all from back up the hill near Tai Po Road

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Fanling Babies Home, Fanling

So, we already know where Mark Jason's large villa is located within On Lok Tsuen. The building that stood in for the police station was the nearby Fanling Babies Home. This place was originally discovered (from a film locations point of view) by Andi on his Movie Tours blog. You can see his post here. In terms of my own blog, I've only seen it the once before.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

A Lotus for Miss Quon - Lang Jeffries (1967) - Li Garden, On Lok Tsuen

The next film up is a 1967 production (a French and German co-production, I think) that appears to have been shot almost entirely in the New Territories. It's based on an thriller written by James Hadley Chase (who, incidentally, also wrote the original novel - A Coffin from HK - on which Ein Sarg aus Hong Kong was based). The story is set in Vietnam but I suppose given the time it was made into a film, filming in Vietnam was not a possibility and so Hong Kong's vast New Territories serves as a decent stand in.

The main protagonist, Mark Jason (played by Lang Jeffries), is a school teacher who rents a nearby villa and one day finds a stash of diamonds in his wall. Unknown to him, the local corrupt police chief is also after the diamonds and Jason gets deeper and deeper into strife as he tries to escape to HK with his newly found stash and Vietnamese girlfriend (Miss Quon).

I think finding most of the locations in this film is going to be quite a challenge, but we can start off with a couple of easy ones. The first one is the villa that Jason was renting and where he finds the hidden stash of diamonds.

This building has been seen before on this blog, albeit from a side elevation. It's Li Garden (李園) in On Lok Tsuen just south of Fanling and I did a post for it a while back for Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon where it makes a very brief appearance. However, if you are a fan of old HK movies then it may be quite familiar to you from being a popular filming location for local films back in the 50s and 60s (example here). Sadly none of the old mansions in On Lok Tsuen seem to exist anymore and the area has been turned into an industrial estate.

I had originally found that the building sits on the site of today's Smile building, but after examining aerial photos from the mid-60s it has become obvious to me that it was actually on the plot now occupied by the Kader Industrial Centre at 17 Lok Yip Road.