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Sleeping Dogs (1977)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 482 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 9 critic

Recluse Smith (Sam Neill) is drawn into a revolutionary struggle between guerillas and right-wingers in New Zealand. Implicated in a murder and framed as a revolutionary conspirator, Smith ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Sleeping Dogs (1977)

Sleeping Dogs (1977) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Smith
Nevan Rowe ...
Gloria
Ian Mune ...
Bullen
...
Col. Willoughby
Ian Watkin ...
Dudley
Clyde Scott ...
Jesperson
Donna Akersten ...
Mary
William Johnson ...
Cousins (as Bill Johnson)
Don Selwyn ...
Taupiri
Davina Whitehouse ...
Elsie
Melissa Donaldson ...
Melissa
Dougal Stevenson ...
News Reader
Bernard Kearns ...
Prime Minister
Raf Irving ...
Reporter
Tommy Tinirau ...
Old Maori Man
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Storyline

Recluse Smith (Sam Neill) is drawn into a revolutionary struggle between guerillas and right-wingers in New Zealand. Implicated in a murder and framed as a revolutionary conspirator, Smith tries to maintain an attitude of non-violence while caught between warring factions. Written by Mike Welsch <m.welsch@az05p.bull.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 April 1979 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Sleeping Dogs  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

NZD 450,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warren Oates has the script in hand when he pulls up beside the pool at the motel. See more »

Goofs

After Bullen crashes the red car, the front left headlight is alternately damaged/undamaged in subsequent shots. See more »

Quotes

Smith: [after discovering how he was framed as a terrorist] You bastards, you bastards.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema of Unease: A Personal Journey by Sam Neill (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Thriller
23 April 2011 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In one of the most acclaimed films coming from New Zealand, Sam Neill plays Smith, a simple man turned into a dangerous one after being confused as a rebel from a resistance group that fights against the new government. Now he has the run from the police and the army to save his life and the only ones who can help him are the same members of the resistance that caused him trouble, including Bullen (Ian Mune), who had an affair with Smith's wife.

There's a few gaps in the narrative, some things are half explained and others don't get any explanation at all, also a lack of idealism or reasons to explain why there's a conflict between the rebels and the government, and all that made the film less appealing, and very confusing. Both sides of the political tensions are presented equally distant from us, so we can't decide which one is right and which one is wrong; our empathy must stay at all time with Neill's character, who is an enigma to us, we don't know what was his occupation before his life gets shattered, and he got framed as terrorist because someone planted guns in his boat. But the story tells us this guy's very smart, he knows combative techniques, some tricks under the sleeve (his escape from the police car by forcing a vomit was incredible).

In his first film director Roger Donaldson makes a very good thriller, effectively tense, and with good moments and great performances (includes a special appearance from Warren Oates as an American military who is following the rebels). A higher focus on the political aspects and placing the characters motivations more on the surface would make this film perfect. 9/10


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