Came a Hot Friday

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Came a Hot Friday
Promotional film poster
Directed by Ian Mune
Written by Ronald Hugh Morrieson (novel)
Ian Mune (screen)
Dean Parker (screen)
Starring Peter Bland
Phillip Gordon
Michael Lawrence
Billy T. James
Marshall Napier
Don Selwyn
Music by Stephen McCurdy
Cinematography Alun Bollinger
Edited by Ken Zemke
Release dates
  • 1985 (1985) (New Zealand)
  • 4 October 1985 (1985-10-04) (U.S.)
Running time
Country New Zealand
Language English
Box office NZ $950,000[1]

Came a Hot Friday is a 1985 New Zealand made comedy film starring some of New Zealand's best-known actors and comedians, based on the 1964 novel by Ronald Hugh Morrieson.


Set in rural New Zealand in 1949, Wes Pennington (Peter Bland) and his partner Cyril (Philip Gordon) are out to ride a great horse-racing scam for as long as they can. They are inveterate gamblers who have joined forces to bilk local bookies by taking advantage of delayed broadcasts of horse races. To stop being caught the duo don't stay in each town for too long, but when they arrive in Tainuia Junction, fate catches up with them. Through a series of unforeseen circumstances, Cyril and Wes get involved in uncovering a bootlegging ring, arson, murder, and other dastardly deeds. The townspeople are in a class of their own, including the Tainuia Kid (Played by Billy T. James), a Maori man who believes himself to be a Mexican bandito, who becomes a kind of protector for the put-upon, gambling duo.

Morrieson’s novels chronicle the sexual perversion and sadistic violence in small town New Zealand, but the film excluded these aspects of the source novel and is a comedy rather than a horror film, in the spirit of the Ealing comedies. It makes good-natured, nostalgic fun of small town 1940s New Zealand where Friday night’s excitement is a pie and chips at the boozer with larger than life parodic characters. The con men are outclassed by the local fools, and the only vicious one (Sel Bishop) gets his just deserts.[2]


DVD Release[edit]

The film was released on DVD on 6 July 2011[3]


New Zealand Film and TV Awards[edit]

Year Category Recipient
1986 Best Director Ian Mune
1986 Best Editing Ken Zemke
1986 Best Film Larry Parr
1986 Best Film Score Stephen McCurdy
1986 Best Performance, Male in a Leading Role Peter Bland
1986 Best Performance, Male in Supporting Role Billy T. James
1986 Best Screenplay Adaption Ian Mune, Dean Parker

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Mike Nicolaidi, "New Zealand", Cinema Papers, March 1986 p8
  2. ^ New Zealand Film 1912-1996 by Helen Martin & Sam Edwards p103 (1997, Oxford University Press, Auckland) ISBN 019 558336 1
  3. ^ . 6 July 2011 Came a Hot Friday Came a Hot Friday. Retrieved 2011-07-06.  Missing or empty |title= (help)