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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

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image


Genre Feature

Duration 1:52:51

Production company SOUTHERN PICTURES

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