The Sand Pebbles | 1966

Directed by: Robert Wise

 Movie Poster (spoilers)

Main Plot

In 1926, a U.S. Naval engineer gets assigned to a gunboat on a rescue mission in war-torn China.


  • Steve McQueen's character, Jake Holman, is a naval engineer who becomes involved in a conflict during the Chinese Revolution.
  • Richard Attenborough's character in The Sand Pebbles is a British engineer who helps maintain a US Navy gunboat in China.
  • Richard Crenna's character in The Sand Pebbles is a tough naval officer who clashes with the protagonist, Jake Holman.


In the ending of The Sand Pebbles, Jake Holman and the remaining crew members of the USS San Pablo escape the violent Chinese revolution. However, the ship is attacked and destroyed, leading to the death of many crew members, including Holman. The survivors are eventually rescued by American forces. As the film concludes, the remaining crew members reflect on the events and the sacrifices made during their time on the ship.