Rewi's Last Stand - aka: The Last Stand - 1940
Frontier Films Ltd. - 61 min. Black & White
Cast: Ramai Te Miha, Stanley Knight, Leo Pilcher, John Gordon, A.J.C. Fisher, Peter Hutt, Rud Peterson, Selwyn Wood, Phoebe Clarke, Tom Moisley, Henare Toka, Rauriti Te Huia.
Writer: Rudall C. Hayward from James Cowan's 'History of the New Zealand Wars'; Photography: Rudall C. Hayward, Edwin Coubray, Jay McCarthy; Sound Engineer: Jack Baxendale; Music: Alfred Hill; Editor, Producer, Director: Rudall C. Hayward.
Star-crossed lovers, Robert and Ariana, are caught up in the New Zealand wars of the 1860s. Ariana is claimed by the Maniapoto people as one of their own and, despite Robert's chivalrous defence, is taken by them and must help them prepare for war. Robert likewise must do his patriotic duty and enlists to fight on the other side. He volunteers to ride despatch, thinking it may give him an opportunity to see Ariana again, which it does, but their joy is short-lived; Maniapoto women fight beside their men, and furthermore she is a Rangitira (noble) and will not let her people down. The climax is the siege of Oraku Pa where 300 Maori hold off 2000 troops for three days. The Maniapoto are defeated, but Ariana, although wounded, survives to be reunited with Robert. The film was shot in the area around Te Awamutu. Ramai Te Miha married Rudall Hayward, 3 years after this film was completed and became his active partner in many film projects until his death in 1974.
Censor Rating: G-- Review Rating: C-