Rewi's Last Stand: The Last Stand

Rewi Last

Director Rudall Hayward

Producer Rudall Hayward

Sound Alfred Hill

With Rāmai Te Miha, Leo Pilcher, Hēnare Toka

Rudall Hayward was determined to correct the mistakes he had made in the 1925 silent film of the same name. Like the earlier version, the film is heavily indebted to the historian James Cowan and his account of the invasion of the Waikato by the British during the Waikato war of the 1860s.

The film takes its name from the famous battle of Ōrākau where Rewi Maniapoto and 300 supporters resisted the advance of over 2,000 Imperial troops during a siege which lasted three days. Around this historical event, Hayward wove a fictional love story between a settler, Robert Beaumont, and Ariana, a young Māori woman played by his future wife Rāmai Te Miha aka Patricia Miller.

Released in Britain in 1949 as THE LAST STAND, the original negatives were cut to meet the British quota system. Only this shortened version of the film is known to survive. In 1970 THE LAST STAND became the first New Zealand feature to be shown on NZ television. It was widely distributed through New Zealand schools through the National Film Library.

This Matariki screening is to support of the exhibition “Wāhine: Beyond the Dusky Maiden” at Turnbull Gallery , 6 June-25 August, 2017.