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Heart of the Stag (1984)

R | | Drama | 27 July 1984 (USA)
Chilling story of a farmhand who realizes his popular boss has been committing incest with his daughter for years.


Michael Firth


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Cast overview:
Bruno Lawrence ... Peter
Terence Cooper Terence Cooper ... Robert / Father
Mary Regan Mary Regan ... Cathy / Daughter
Anne Flannery Anne Flannery ... Mary / Mother
Michael Wilson Michael Wilson ... Jack
Susanne Cowie Susanne Cowie ... Cathy / Young
John Bach ... Shearer
Timothy Lee Timothy Lee ... Shearer
Greg Naughton Greg Naughton ... Shearer
Tania Bristowe Tania Bristowe ... Shearer


Robert, a wealthy sheep farmer, uses power and domination to rule both his farm and his family. He covets three things in his possession; his stags, his guns and his daughter, Cathy. Itinerant shepherd, Peter, accepting employment on the farm, finds himself drawn into a sinister, domestic dilemma. What he doesn't know is that she is being sexually abused by her father and is powerless to escape. Torn with the confusion of guilt and fear, she remains in this destructive situation to nurse her paralyzed mother, the victim of a stroke. Peter's sensitivity and tenderness towards her poses an alternative to her father's brutish behavior. However, Robert does not appreciate Peter's interest in his daughter and sends the shepherd to a distant hut to muster sheep. The tension builds when she visits Peter's hut against her father's wishes. Robert, feeling threatened, orders the shepherd off his farm. She reveals her grim secret to Peter and when they attempt to escape, the ensuing hunt ends in... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Relationship Between Father and Daughter...Daughter and Lover...Lover and Death See more »




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New Zealand



Release Date:

27 July 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ensest, Ask ve Olüm See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand

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User Reviews

accomplished New Zealand film.....
6 October 2005 | by biker-1See all my reviews

New Zealand film making and its affinity for troubled personal drama tempered by wild landscape and bad weather has proved to be it's creative master stroke. The Piano, Whale Rider, Vigil, Utu evoke an indigenous gloom that identify these movies as distinctly New Zealand in character. Heart of the Stag mines similar territory to lesser effect with three good performances from farmer (Terence Cooper), farmer's daughter (Mary Regan) and farm hand (Bruno Lawrence) in a triangular tale of lust on the farm. Grim skies and hostile terrain accompany the moody pacing of Cooper's incestuous menace as Lawrence and Regan find mutual solace. An accomplished New Zealand film.

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