violent memories are stuck in my brain...
May 17, 2008 1:18 AM   Subscribe

Old movie question involving US military, China, torture, and other things. What movie was this?

I've had this movie scene stuck in my head since I was a kid and have no idea what it's from. Let's see if the magic of metafilter can help me.
The US Navy is stationed somewhere in Asia, probably in China. Some of the Chinese want to provoke the guys on this ship to do something aggressive in order to start a war or something. There's a crowd on the shore near the ship, and they grab a Chinese guy (who might have been a friend of one of the Americans on the ship), put him up on a scaffold of some kind, and start cutting his chest. The guy on the ship grabs a rifle from one of the guards and shoots the guy being tortured in order to put him out of his misery. That's all I remember.
Here's another scene, that may have been from the same movie, but I'm not sure. The scene is in a bar, and some nasty criminal types are auctioning off a woman. The auctioneer tears her dress, and a guy in the audience jumps up and punches the auctioneer.

I must have seen this when I was 10 or 12 years old, so the movie would have been made before 1977, possibly long before. I'm quite surprised they would have let me watch this kind of thing. I'm sure I actually saw it, though, and am really curious about what film it was.

Take it away, Metafilter!
posted by crazylegs to Media & Arts (2 answers total)
The Sand Pebbles (1966). With Steve McQueen, Richard Crenna, and Candice Bergen. Mako is the guy who gets the Death of a Thousand Cuts treatment.
posted by paulsc at 1:31 AM on May 17, 2008

Your timing couldn't be much better for this question; until recently, The Sand Pebbles hasn't been available on DVD. It was just released this spring.

Great movie, by the way. It's in my Netflix queue.
posted by dinger at 10:18 AM on May 17, 2008

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