The Sand Pebbles follows the crew of a U.S. gunboat patrolling the Yangtze River in 1926 China. Nationalism is sweeping the country, and many are demanding foreigners leave the country. Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) is the newest member of the crew of the USS San Pablo, which has been ordered to protect American civilians in the area, including school teacher Shirley Eckert (Candice Bergen) and Missionary Mr. Jameson (Larry Gates). As political tensions rise, the San Pablo is held in a state of siege, unable to retaliate against the growing atrocities committed around them. When Jake is framed for a murder he did not commit, the Chinese demand he be turned over to them for trial. Captain Collins (Richard Crenna) refuses and decides it's time for decisive action. The 1966 war film was adapted from the novel by Richard McKenna. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture for director Robert Wise and Best Actor for McQueen.