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Hero image for Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Film (Trailer and Excerpts) – 1977

PG
Parental Guidance

Smith (Sam Neill, in his breakthrough screen role) is devastated when his wife runs off with his best friend Bullen (Ian Mune). Smith escapes to the Coromandel. Meanwhile, the government enlists an anti-terrorist force to crack down on its opponents. Bullen, now a guerrilla, asks Smith to join the revolution. Directed by Roger Donaldson, this adaptation of CK Stead novel Smith's Dream heralded a new wave of Kiwi cinema. It was one of the only Kiwi films of the 1970s to win a big local audience. This excerpt includes a much discussed scene: a baton charge by government forces, predating the real life conflicts of the 1981 Springbok tour.

[Sleeping Dogs] almost single-handedly created a climate of acceptance within the country for a Kiwi film industry.
– Jonathan Dowling looks back at the film's impact, The Evening Post, 27 February 1988

Produced by

Aardvark Films

Acknowledgements

Funded with the assistance of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council

Music

Opening song 'Don't Look Back' sung and composed by Murray Grindlay

Closing credits song 'Sleeping Dogs'  performed by Aerial Railway

Soundtrack includes songs by Mark Williams and Josie Hamilton Rika

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