7.9/10
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Once Were Warriors (1994)

R | | Crime, Drama | 3 March 1995 (USA)
Trailer
2:08 | Trailer
A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.

Director:

Lee Tamahori

Writers:

Riwia Brown, Alan Duff (novel)
Reviews
22 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rena Owen ... Beth Heke
Temuera Morrison ... Jake Heke
Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell ... Grace Heke
Julian Arahanga ... Nig Heke
Taungaroa Emile ... Boogie Heke
Rachael Morris Jr. Rachael Morris Jr. ... Polly Heke
Joseph Kairau ... Huata Heke
Cliff Curtis ... Bully
Pete Smith ... Dooley
George Henare ... Bennett
Mere Boynton Mere Boynton ... Mavis
Shannon Williams ... Toot
Calvin Tuteao ... Taka (Gang Leader)
Ray Bishop Ray Bishop ... King Hitter (in pub)
Ian Mune ... Judge
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Storyline

Set in urban Auckland (New Zealand) this movie tells the story of the Heke family. Jake Heke is a violent man who beats his wife frequently when drunk, and yet obviously loves both her and his family. The movie follows a period of several weeks in the family's life showing Jake's frequent outburst of violence and the effect that this has on his family. The youngest son is in trouble with the police and may be put into a foster home while the elder son is about to join a street gang. Jake's daughter has her own serious problems which are a key element in the plot. Written by Chris Maslin <maslinc@cad.canterbury.ac.nz>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A family in crisis, a life in chaos... Nothing is more powerful than a mother's love. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and strong depiction of domestic abuse, including sexual violence and substance abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

FineLine

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English | Maori | Spanish

Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Alma dos Guerreiros See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,608,570

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,608,570
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cliff Curtis is still teased about his role as Uncle Bully in the film. He says the part will haunt him for the rest of his life. See more »

Goofs

When Beth and friend are out looking for Grace in the car, its raining outside. When they go to a front shot of the car its not raining. See more »

Quotes

Jake Heke: [reading from Grace's diary] Uncle Bully...
Jake Heke: [insane with brutal rage] UNCLE FUCKING BULLY!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the ending credits start, a giant 'END' covers the screen. See more »

Connections

References White Men Can't Jump (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
brutal & compelling
12 February 2003 | by mighty_pickmanSee all my reviews

One of the best films of the 1990's, a brutal, brilliant & compelling film from New Zealand. Brilliant performances from Morrison, Owen & Kerr-Bell as Gracie. Morrison as Jake is one of film's most fearsome characters, full of true anger & hate but by no means a one-dimensional character. As see the characteristics that made Beth fall in love with him in the first place, the passion, the charisma. A great script based on the novel of the same name. A must see 10/10


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