7.9/10
26,587
273 user 55 critic

Once Were Warriors (1994)

R | | Crime, Drama | 3 March 1995 (USA)
A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.

Director:

Writers:

, (novel)
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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

22 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Taungaroa Emile ...
Rachael Morris Jr. ...
Joseph Kairau ...
...
Bully
Pete Smith ...
Dooley
George Henare ...
Bennett
Mere Boynton ...
Shannon Williams ...
...
Taka (Gang Leader)
Ray Bishop ...
King Hitter (in pub)
...
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Storyline

Set in urban Auckland (New Zealand) this movie tells the story of the Heke family. Jake Heke is a violent man who beats his wife frequently when drunk, and yet obviously loves both her and his family. The movie follows a period of several weeks in the family's life showing Jake's frequent outburst of violence and the effect that this has on his family. The youngest son is in trouble with the police and may be put into a foster home while the elder son is about to join a street gang. Jake's daughter has her own serious problems which are a key element in the plot. Written by Chris Maslin <maslinc@cad.canterbury.ac.nz>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A family in crisis, a life in chaos... Nothing is more powerful than a mother's love. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and strong depiction of domestic abuse, including sexual violence and substance abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Alma dos Guerreiros  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,201,126 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Robin Scholes, of the Communicado television company who produced the film, said she had been looking for a project that reflected her own experience of violence, and that of other women. She had been badly beaten in the 1980s, by a serial rapist. See more »

Goofs

Blood disappears and reappears on Beth's chin. See more »

Quotes

[about Boogie]
Beth Heke: He's gone! He's gone to welfare! And you slept through the whole bloody thing.
Jake Heke: Is that all? Is that what all this slamming of fucking doors, crying and carrying on is about?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the ending credits start, a giant 'END' covers the screen. See more »

Connections

References Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
brutal & compelling
12 February 2003 | by (Melbourne Australia) – See all my reviews

One of the best films of the 1990's, a brutal, brilliant & compelling film from New Zealand. Brilliant performances from Morrison, Owen & Kerr-Bell as Gracie. Morrison as Jake is one of film's most fearsome characters, full of true anger & hate but by no means a one-dimensional character. As see the characteristics that made Beth fall in love with him in the first place, the passion, the charisma. A great script based on the novel of the same name. A must see 10/10


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