Rewi’s Last Stand / The Last Stand
Director Rudall Hayward
Producer Rudall Hayward
Screenplay Rudall Hayward
Sound Alfred Hill
With Ramai Te Miha, Stanley Knight, Leo Pilcher, Raureti Te Huia
Based on James Cowan’s description of the 1864 Battle of Orakau Pa, Rewi’s Last Stand is a remake of Hayward’s 1925 silent film of the same name with a fictional love story between a settler and a young Māori woman woven in.
Rewi’s Last Stand premiered at the Empire Theatre, Te Awamutu on 1 May 1940 to great fanfare. The famous British documentarian, John Grierson, went so far as to say “It is more important that New Zealanders should have produced this film than that they should see one hundred films from Hollywood. It is a good film, and I am surprised how near to producing a Cecil B. de Mille spectacle Mr Hayward has come.”In 1948 Hayward took the film to England. British quota laws at the time required editing the original 9,000 feet to 5,000. The shortened film was released as The Last Stand and is all that survives today. In 1970 it became the first New Zealand film to screen on local television.
This screening is part of the Film in the Colony Symposium hosted by the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, University of Otago, and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Find out more at https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/crocc/film-in-the-colony-symposium .
This screening is free if you are registered for the Film in the Colony Symposium.