Smash Palace is a Kiwi cinema classic and launched Roger Donaldson's American career. Al Shaw (a brilliant, brooding Bruno Lawrence) is a racing car driver who now runs a wrecker's yard in the shadow of Mount Ruapehu. His French wife Jacqui is unhappy there and leaves him, taking up with Al's best mate. When she restricts Al's access to his young daughter, his frustration explodes and he goes bush with the girl, desperate not to lose her too. "There's no road back" runs the tagline. New Yorker critic Pauline Kael called the film "amazingly accomplished".
Bruno got that scene by the scruff of the neck. He just marched up to that door... and he cut loose. it was the quintessential Bruno.– Editor Mike Horton, on the scene where Bruno removes the front door by force
Made with funding from the NZ Film Commission
Original Music composed by Sharon O’Neill
A soundtrack EP soundtrack was issued in 1981 but has not been rereleased