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The story of Stanley Graham, a back blocks dairy farmer who shot several policemen in October 1941. After the shooting Graham escapes into the West Coast bush. What follows is a thirteen day chase culminating in New Zealand's biggest manhunt.

“Here and in the hills where locals, home guards, police and soldiers hunted for Graham, the film crew of some 50 people, and more than 50 actors, are re-creating Stan Graham’s murder rampage, which left four policemen, a school inspector and two guardsmen dead. After Graham was finally hunted down and shot, the locals burnt his farm to the ground in what Australian [Jack] Thompson describes as an ‘exorcism of a tragedy that affected the whole community’ ” - (“Bad Blood - and the man who plays a notorious NZ murderer”, Auckland Star, February 14, 1981)

“The film doesn’t take sides but highlights the distressing tendency of farming communities in New Zealand to close ranks against newcomers [...] The acting is of an exceptionally high standard. Thompson’s sensitive portrayal of Graham ensures audience sympathy without detracting from the horror of what happened [...] Gary Hansen’s photography exploits the grandeur of the West Coast and also the appalling poverty-stricken dairy farm of the Grahams” - (“Bad Blood powerful”, Wanganui Herald, March 2, 1983)

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Year 1981

Reference number F9327

Source Moving Image Collection

Media type Moving Image


Genre Feature

Duration 1:52:51

Production company SOUTHERN PICTURES

Viewing locations

- 2005.6805

Location information

Credits Director: Mike Newell Producer: Andrew Brown Executive Producer: Mark Shivas Executive Producer: Al Burgess Photography: Gary Hansen Screenplay: Andrew Brown Editor: Peter Hollywood Music: Richard Hartley Based On The Book Manhunt - The Story Of Stanley Graham: Howard Willis Doreen Bond: Donna Akersten Dorothy Graham: Carol Burns Dulcie Lindsay: Pat Evison George Lindsay: David Copeland Henry Growcott: Cliff Wood John Graham: Michael Teen Les North: Martyn Sanderson Pat Graham: Elizabeth Watson Production Design: Kai Hawkins Sound Mixer: Robert Allen Stanley Graham: Jack Thompson Ted Best: Dennis Lill Trev Bond: Marshall Napier;