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Sleeping Dogs (1977)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 13 July 1978 (Australia)
A New Zealand man recently estranged from his family gets unwittingly caught up in a revolution.

Director:

Roger Donaldson

Writers:

Christian K. Stead (novel) (as Karl Stead), Ian Mune (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Neill ... Smith
Nevan Rowe ... Gloria
Ian Mune ... Bullen
Warren Oates ... Col. Willoughby
Ian Watkin Ian Watkin ... Dudley
Clyde Scott Clyde Scott ... Jesperson
Donna Akersten Donna Akersten ... Mary
William Johnson William Johnson ... Cousins (as Bill Johnson)
Don Selwyn Don Selwyn ... Taupiri
Davina Whitehouse ... Elsie
Melissa Donaldson Melissa Donaldson ... Melissa
Dougal Stevenson Dougal Stevenson ... News Reader
Bernard Kearns Bernard Kearns ... Prime Minister
Raf Irving Raf Irving ... Reporter
Tommy Tinirau Tommy Tinirau ... Old Maori Man
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Storyline

Recluse Smith (Sam Neill) is drawn into a revolutionary struggle between leftist guerillas and the New Zealand government. Implicated in a murder and framed as a revolutionary conspirator, Smith tries to avoid violence while caught between warring sides. Written by Mike Welsch <m.welsch@az05p.bull.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

New Zealand A Police State - Could It Happen Here?

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1978 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Coup d'État See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand

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Box Office

Budget:

NZD 450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nevan Rowe performed a number of roles on this low-budget production. Rowe acted as a casting agent, production secretary, "general dogsbody", and in a major acting role portrayed Gloria, the wife of Smith (Sam Neill). See more »

Goofs

After Bullen crashes the red car, the front left headlight is alternately damaged/undamaged in subsequent shots. See more »

Quotes

Smith: [after discovering how he was framed as a terrorist] You bastards, you bastards.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema of Unease: A Personal Journey by Sam Neill (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Look Back
Murray Grindlay
Courtesy of EMI New Zealand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Crackerjack early NZ action film
1 August 2017 | by rdoyle29See all my reviews

Sam Neill stars, in his 2nd feature film, as Smith, a man who leaves his family when his wife takes up with another man, and moves to an island where he is the only resident. While he's on the island, political turmoil in New Zealand worsens and a form of martial law is declared. Smith is framed as a terrorist and arrested. Facing certain execution, he escapes and goes on the run, eventually hooking up with Bullen (Ian Mune), the man who had stolen his wife. This is the first feature made in New Zealand that received international distribution, and it's readily apparent why. Neill is a magnetic screen presence, and the film has the ramshackle appeal of the best small action films of the 70's. Warren Oates even appears in a small role as a US army officer.


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