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In 1870, a Maori warrior working with the British finds his village massacred, and vows revenge.

Director:

Geoff Murphy

Writers:

Geoff Murphy (screenplay), Keith Aberdein (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anzac Wallace ... Te Wheke
Bruno Lawrence ... Williamson
Tim Elliott Tim Elliott ... Col. Elliot
Kelly Johnson ... Lt. Scott
Wi Kuki Kaa Wi Kuki Kaa ... Wiremu
Tania Bristowe Tania Bristowe ... Kura
Ilona Rodgers ... Emily Williamson
Merata Mita ... Matu
Faenza Reuben Faenza Reuben ... Hersare
Tom Poata Tom Poata ... Puni
Martyn Sanderson Martyn Sanderson ... Vicar
John Bach ... Belcher
Dick Puanaki Dick Puanaki ... Eru
Sean Duffy Sean Duffy ... Cpl. Jones
Ian Watkin Ian Watkin ... Doorman
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Storyline

In New Zealand in the 1860s the native Maori people fought the British colonials to keep the land guaranteed to them by treaty. The warrior Te Wheke fights for the British until betrayal leads him to seek utu (revenge). The settler Williamson in turn seeks revenge after Te Wheke attacks his homestead. Meanwhile Wiremu, an officer for the British, seems to think that resistance is futile. Written by Brian Rawnsley <rawnsleb@natlib.govt.nz>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1984 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Hämnden See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The gag in which the old Maori rebel sticks his face in flour and pretends to be a pakeha is very likely based on a stand up bit by Godfrey Cambridge from the 1960s in which his young son uses his mother's makeup to appear white. The punchline in both cases is almost identical. See more »

Alternate Versions

Original New Zealand version runs 118 minutes; US version was cut to 105 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Making Utu (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Atmospheric western set in NZ. Pity about the plot.
31 July 2019 | by llareggubSee all my reviews

The film opens with British soldiers slaughtering an entire Maori village in the 1860s. No reason, it is just what filthy imperialists did. A native born Kiwi soldier returns from the Boer Wars to teach Commando tactics to the nasty, colonialist British snob who commanded the post. The first Boer War started in 1880. During the second, an Australian, Harry Morant, was shot for killing a wounded Boer prisoner after his own commander was murdered. The British Empire wasn't perfect, but it wasn't a cardboard cutout. Amusingly, the Maori 'army' hired by Murphy for this travesty of history was a gang of thugs known as 'The Mongrel Mob'. Great cinematography, atmospheric music. One dimensional plot.


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