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Once Were Warriors (1994)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  3 March 1995 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 23,485 users  
Reviews: 267 user | 50 critic

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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Cast

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

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:

Her only chance for the future is to embrace the power of her past. 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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Morrison took a long time to get into the character of Jake the Muss. He was used to playing calm characters and good guys. A key point in his transformation came when Rena Owen stayed in character and yelled at him until he got angry. Apparently he only got into character on the weekend just before filming started. See more »

Goofs

When Beth is being beaten by Jake at the start of the film she is thrown into a mirror which shatters completely. Later when the children are cleaning up the mess the mirror is back on the wall with only a few cracks. See more »

Quotes

Policewoman: Beth Heke?
Beth Heke: What now?
Policeman: He's been keeping bad company.
Beth Heke: Was that before or after you picked him up?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Most of the opening credits are either split in half, scattered in different areas of the screen, abnormally shaped or used in small white print. Some are even mixed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tromeo and Juliet (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Gut-wrenching
5 December 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most powerful and realistic movies I have ever seen.

A true modern-day tragedy, this movie shows the negative aspects of one indigenous culture in today's society. This is a very important movie as it forces you to look at issues that some have to live with on a daily basis.

This movie literally left me feeling sick in the stomach. Particularly with the knowledge that there are families out there living through this. The performance by Temuera Morrison was incredible.


39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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