6.5/10
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13 user 19 critic

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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1 nomination. See more awards »

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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

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

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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

Col. Willoughby: [to Smith] I got my eye on you, boy. I got my eye on you really good.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cowboys of Culture (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Maybe I Was a Fool (To Fall in Love With You)
Mark Williams
Courtesy of EMI New Zealand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Solid if not spectacular
18 June 2002 | by stekelmollSee all my reviews

Based on the novel Smith's Dream by academic C. K. Stead, Sleeping Dogs is set in a totalitarian New Zealand. Smith moves to the country to escape trouble but is framed by the state as a terrorist.The rest of the film involves his attempts to avoid arrest and his eventual fate.

Released in 1977, the film possessed a poignancy for New Zealanders, who at the time viewed the then Muldoon National Government with some suspicion. A scene involving riot police in an Auckland street was a chilling portent of events during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour to New Zealand, and indeed on its release in the USA, some Americans confused the film's images with media reports of the tour protests.

Notable for Sam Neill's role as Smith, the movie started a late 1970s revival in the New Zealand film industry, including movies such as The Scarecrow, Skin Deep, and Smash Palace.


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