REWI’S LAST STAND / THE LAST STAND
- Media type
- Moving image
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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.