“The funniest, liveliest, most exuberant film ever made in New Zealand”. So said critic Nicholas Reid, a year after Came a Hot Friday became 1985's biggest local hit. Though Billy T’s loony Mexican-Māori cowboy is beloved by fans, he is but one eccentric here among many — as two scheming conmen hit town, and encounter bookies, boozers, country hicks, nasty crim Marshall Napier, and Prince Tui Teka playing saxophone. Until the arrival of The Piano in 1993, Ian Mune and Dean Parker’s award-loaded adaptation remained NZ's third biggest local hit. Ian Pryor writes about the film here.
Came a Hot Friday is a major advance in Kiwi film comedy. A barrel load of talent, nurtured during New Zealand’s filmmaking renaissance and now signalling distinctive maturity, has been brought together in this Mirage Films presentation to explore a folk tale of intrigue and delight.– Mike Nicolaidi, reviewing the film in Variety, 20 February 1985
Shaker Run Productions
Available to rent and buy from NZ Film on Demand
Presented with thanks to the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata
Music composed by Stephen McCurdy
Opening Track ‘This Time’ sung by Beaver
‘Work for the Money’ and ‘Out in the Cold’ sung by Prince Tui Teka