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An abridgement, for UK release, of Rudall Hayward’s 1940 remake of “Rewi’s Last Stand”.

Released in 1949 as THE LAST STAND, the original negatives from the 112 minute New Zealand release had been cut to meet the requirements of the British quota system. Only this shortened, 63 minute, version of the film is known to survive.

Hayward had been determined to correct mistakes he’d made in his 1925 silent film of the same name, “Rewi’s Last Stand” (see F2290 for surviving footage). Like the earlier film, the sound remake is heavily indebted to historian James Cowan and his account of the invasion of the Waikato by the British during the 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 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.

In 1970, THE LAST STAND [as “Rewi’s Last Stand”] became the first New Zealand feature to be shown on New Zealand television. It was also widely distributed to schools through the National Film Library.

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Year 1949

Reference number F5690

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image


Genre Feature

Duration 1:03:00

Production company Frontier Films, Equity British Films

Taonga Māori Collection Yes

Credits Cast: Ramai Te Miha
Cast: Stanley Knight
Cast: Leo Pilcher
Cast: Selwyn Wood
Cast: Phoebe Clarke
Cast: Tom Moisley
Cast: Henare Toka
Cast: Raureti Te Huia
Writer: Rudall Hayward
Director: Rudall Hayward
Photography: Rudall Hayward
Associate Cameramen: Edwin Coubray
Associate Cameramen: Jay McCarthy
Music: Alfred Hill
Sound: Ron Purdy

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