The Sand Pebbles
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Steve McQueen received his only Academy Award nomination for his performance in this epic-scale war drama, based on the novel by Richard McKenna. In 1926, as China teeters on the edge of political revolution in the midst of a civil war, the USS San Pablo, is ordered to patrol the Yangtze River to represent and protect American interests. While the San Pablo may be an American ship, much of the labor is actually performed by Chinese locals willing to work for American money, while stern but inexperienced commanding officer Captain Collins (Richard Crenna) frequently drills his charges, unsure… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Steve McQueen gives a dominant performance in Robert Wise's ambitious but flawed period drama, which offers interesting parallels to the US involvment in Vietnam."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A fine old-school picture...elevated further by its progressive themes. [Blu-Ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Steve McQueen Rocks!!!!!!!!!"
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"The drama wavers between being compelling and reaching too far for greater historical significance, that it loses its bearings."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Steve McQueen is great, and Candace Bergen is breathtakingly beautiful."
‑ Beth Accomando,
"Overlong, moderately entertaining "epic""
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Underrated Robert Wise classic starring McQueen in his finest acting role."
‑ Steve Crum,
"There are hints and parallels in this period drama set in 1926 with what was still happening in Vietnam, but writer Richard Anderson and director Robert Wise weren't sure what kind of message they wanted to send; Steve McQueen is good, though."
‑ Emanuel Levy, Screendaily
"Classic war tale suffers from unwieldly running time."
‑ Scott Weinberg, Apollo Guide
More reviews for The Sand Pebbles on Rotten Tomatoes