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This film is an abridged remake of Rudall Hayward’s 1940 Rewi’s Last Stand edited for a UK release.

Hayward had been determined to correct mistakes he’d made in his 1925 silent film, Rewi’s Last Stand (F2290). 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 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.

Released in Britain in 1949 as THE LAST STAND, the original negatives from the 1940 New Zealand release 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 NZ schools through the National Film Library.

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Year 1949

Reference number F5690

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

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