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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Writers:

(novel) (as Karl Stead), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Smith
...
Gloria
...
Bullen
...
Col. Willoughby
Ian Watkin ...
Dudley
Clyde Scott ...
Jesperson
Donna Akersten ...
Mary
William Johnson ...
Cousins (as Bill Johnson)
Don Selwyn ...
Taupiri
...
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:

13 July 1978 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Coup d'État  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

NZD 450,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's DVD special features state: "Sleeping Dogs (1977) was a major factor in convincing New Zealand politicians that a Film Commission financed with public funds should be established". See more »

Goofs

An authentic assault rifle would be too heavy to "float" on the surface of the motel's swimming pool. (See the 'Trivia' section regarding the film's use of firearm replicas.) See more »

Quotes

Col. Willoughby: [to Smith] I got my eye on you, boy. I got my eye on you really good.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'Sleeping Dogs' (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Solid if not spectacular
18 June 2002 | by (Wellington, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Based on the novel Smith's Dream by academic C. K. Stead, Sleeping Dogs is set in a totalitarian New Zealand. Smith moves to the country to escape trouble but is framed by the state as a terrorist.The rest of the film involves his attempts to avoid arrest and his eventual fate.

Released in 1977, the film possessed a poignancy for New Zealanders, who at the time viewed the then Muldoon National Government with some suspicion. A scene involving riot police in an Auckland street was a chilling portent of events during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour to New Zealand, and indeed on its release in the USA, some Americans confused the film's images with media reports of the tour protests.

Notable for Sam Neill's role as Smith, the movie started a late 1970s revival in the New Zealand film industry, including movies such as The Scarecrow, Skin Deep, and Smash Palace.


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