Smash Palace is the Kiwi cinema classic which launched director Roger Donaldson's international career. Al Shaw (a brilliant, brooding Bruno Lawrence) is a racing car driver who now runs a car 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. Completed in a rush, the tale of a marriage breaking down was praised as "amazingly accomplished" by New Yorker critic Pauline Kael. Read more about Smash Palace here.
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
The cast & crew recall Smash Palace on its 30th anniversary, The NZ Herald, May 2011
The original press kit for this film (scroll down), NZ Film Commission website
Article on Horopito Motors, the film's main location, MTA website
Interview with Horopito Motors' Michelle Fredricksen, TV Guide, August 2015