7.9/10
28,308
276 user 59 critic

Once Were Warriors (1994)

R | | Crime, Drama | 3 March 1995 (USA)
Trailer
2:07 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.

Director:

Writers:

, (novel)
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22 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Beth Heke
... Jake Heke
... Grace Heke
... Nig Heke
... Boogie Heke
Rachael Morris Jr. ... Polly Heke
... Huata Heke
... Bully
... Dooley
... Bennett
Mere Boynton ... Mavis
... Toot
... Taka (Gang Leader)
Ray Bishop ... King Hitter (in pub)
... Judge
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Storyline

Set in urban Auckland (New Zealand) this movie tells the story of the Heke family. Jake Heke is a violent man who beats his wife frequently when drunk, and yet obviously loves both her and his family. The movie follows a period of several weeks in the family's life showing Jake's frequent outburst of violence and the effect that this has on his family. The youngest son is in trouble with the police and may be put into a foster home while the elder son is about to join a street gang. Jake's daughter has her own serious problems which are a key element in the plot. Written by Chris Maslin <maslinc@cad.canterbury.ac.nz>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Her only chance for the future is to embrace the power of her past. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and strong depiction of domestic abuse, including sexual violence and substance abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

FineLine

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Alma dos Guerreiros  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,201,126
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Temuera Morrison said he found it hard to go back to his regular television role after doing this movie. He said that after finding all the pain and anger to play Jake the Muss, it was hard to let it go, and he wanted to swear and curse at all the nurses and patients in Shortland Street. See more »

Goofs

When the scene of the guy singing karaoke in the bar right before Jake and Dooley walk in, the camera scans and you see an old guy among the people watching the singer and moving to the music, then you see the same old guy sitting at the bar when Jake and Dooley are discussing the guy who just beat up three other guys. He moved from one scene to the next within seconds. See more »

Quotes

Beth Heke: You raped a 13 year old girl and sat here drinking with her father while the rest of us buried her!
Bully: You should learn to control your Missus.
Beth Heke: Sneaking around the house laying your filthy fucking hands on my baby!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the ending credits start, a giant 'END' covers the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Lost & Found (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great film
18 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

"Once Were Warriors" tells of one woman's struggle to free herself and her family from the fist of abuse, the grip of oppression, and the slow assassination of self esteem at the hands of an alcoholic husband. This film's story of a Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) underclass family shows the male turning to violence and self destruction to vent frustration with his plight while the female draws strength from her cultural heritage in an attempt to save her children and restore their dignity. Gripping, intense, and powerful, "Once Were Warriors" is a critically acclaimed must see for anyone into serious human drama. (A)


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