6.5/10
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14 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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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

"The [film's source] book ['Smith's Dream' by Christian K. Stead] foresaw some of the confrontations in police, army and protester action that occurred during the 1981 Springbok tour" according to Helen Martin in the book 'New Zealand Film, 1912-1996'. See more »

Goofs

An authentic assault rifle would be too heavy to "float" on the surface of the motel's swimming pool. (See the 'Trivia' section regarding the film's use of firearm replicas.) 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

 
Interesting
14 March 2008 | by r_voogdSee all my reviews

I recall being confused the first time I saw this film, not long after it was first released, probably due to being young and naive at the time. Having revisited the film 30 years later I find that I have been able to follow the subtleties of the plot more easily.

The movie is a commentary on life's challenges and how one young man - Smith (Sam Neill) - responds to some of these challenges.

I like this movie now because not only does it show something of New Zealand's past and the possibilities the film-makers foresaw (some of which later came to pass as part of NZ history) but because it is an early vehicle for several New Zealand film-maker's craft.


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