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The God Boy

Television (Full Length) – 1976

The God Boy is a portrait of a troubled teen Jimmy (Jamie Higgins) growing up in post-war small town New Zealand and wrestling with a repressive education and home front turmoil. Adapted from the Ian Cross novel by Ian Mune and directed by Murray Reece, the landmark film was the first NZ telefeature, gaining Feltex awards and front page reviews. With menace and Catholic guilt ever-present, it’s credited as a pioneer of what Sam Neill dubbed NZ’s “cinema of unease”. Higgins later starred in Australian TV show The Sullivans.

The story was shot with moments of creative imagination. It is all recalled in the memory of Jimmy, a 13-year-old boy, and everything that happens is not only seen through the wide eyes of a boy, but a special boy, a Catholic taught by nuns, for whom the happenings of life become coloured and bent in a way that water plays on light ... The boy-actor Jamie Higgins, was an ever-unfolding bliss.
– Dick Campion, ‘Good God Boy’, Listener review, 1 May 1976

Key Cast & Crew

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Murray Reece

Director, Producer

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Ian Mune


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Judie Douglass

As: Sister Angela

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Damien Wilkins

As: Hector

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Jamie Higgins

As: Jimmy Sullivan

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Maria Craig

As: Mrs Sullivan

See all 25 credits


NZ On Screen acknowledges the talent and creatives for allowing NZ On Screen to reproduce this title on this website.


New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by William Southgate