7.9/10
26,786
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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ON DISC
22 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rachael Morris Jr. ...
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Bully
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Dooley
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Bennett
Mere Boynton ...
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Taka (Gang Leader)
Ray Bishop ...
King Hitter (in pub)
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Judge
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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:

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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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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:

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Once Were Warriors was voted, in a local online poll in 2014, the best New Zealand film of all time, ahead of Boy, Whale Rider and Goodbye Pork Pie. See more »

Goofs

When the scene of the guy singing karaoke in the bar right before Jake and Dooley walk in, the camera scans and you see an old guy among the people watching the singer and moving to the music, then you see the same old guy sitting at the bar when Jake and Dooley are discussing the guy who just beat up three other guys. He moved from one scene to the next within seconds. See more »

Quotes

[after giving an obnoxious punk a beating]
Jake Heke: I was right... too much weights, not enough speedwork. Useless prick.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Lost & Found (2010) 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.


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