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55 Days at Peking

55 Days at Peking(1963)

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  • Director Nicholas Ray walked off the set. Andrew Marton and Guy Green finished the film.
  • Due to mainland China's hostility and isolation from the Western world, a full-scale 60-acre replication of Peking 1900 (sewers and all) was built in the plains outside Madrid, and Chinese/Asian extras were flown in from all over Europe to provide the local Peking (the old name of Beijing) citizenry. A number of costumes for the Royal Chinese Court (the Empress, Prince Tuan's, etc.) were authentic ones from Tzu Hsi's actual court. They were loaned by an illustrious Florentine family (which wished to stay anonymous) but was able to rescue them from the collapse of the dynasty right after the Boxer rebellion.
  • The film, which was shot in Spain, needed thousands of Chinese extras, and the company sent scouts throughout Spain to hire as many as they could find. The result was that many Chinese restaurants in Spain closed for the duration of the filming because the restaurant staff - often including the restaurant's owners - was hired away by the film company. The company hired so many that for several months there was scarcely a Chinese restaurant to be found open in the entire country.

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