7.9/10
26,188
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.

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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:

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Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Alma dos Guerreiros  »

Filming Locations:

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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

Cliff Curtis is still teased about his role as Uncle Bully in the film. He says the part will haunt him for the rest of his life. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Jake Heke: Where the fuck you off to? Come have a feed boy!
Nig Heke: Nuh.
Jake Heke: Fuck him!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great film
18 September 2003 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"Once Were Warriors" tells of one woman's struggle to free herself and her family from the fist of abuse, the grip of oppression, and the slow assassination of self esteem at the hands of an alcoholic husband. This film's story of a Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) underclass family shows the male turning to violence and self destruction to vent frustration with his plight while the female draws strength from her cultural heritage in an attempt to save her children and restore their dignity. Gripping, intense, and powerful, "Once Were Warriors" is a critically acclaimed must see for anyone into serious human drama. (A)


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