The Sand Pebbles

Factual error: The uniforms worn by the engineering force are from the wrong era. Prior to 1941 the left arm rates had the head of the eagle pointing to the wearer's rear. Steve McQueen and the rest of the Engineering force rate eagle head is pointing forward, which is from WW2.

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Other mistake: About 1 1/2 hours into the movie, Ensign Bordelles, in the courtyard of the American facility in Changsha, prepares his shore party to march back to San Pablo with the Chinese military escort on either side. The Ensign lines up his men and orders, "Detail, forward March." The Chinese soldiers, unlikely to understand a word of English, also move off in lock step with the Americans.

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Character mistake: Following McQueen's viewing of Naval Shipmate Attenborough's corpse, he then fails to recover the decedents dogtag; a United States Military Protocol.

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Trivia: Steve McQueen received his only Oscar nomination for his performance as Jake Holman in this film.

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Question: Why was the movie called "The Sand Pebbles?


Chosen answer: It's a pun on the name of the boat which features in the film: the fictional U. S. Navy ship USS San Pablo. The sailors on the San Pablo call themselves the sand pebbles.




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