×

Smash Palace

Smash Palace is a thoroughly remarkable drama about a marital break-up which erupts into an impulsive kidnapping of a child by its father and a totally-believable escalation to the brink of tragedy.

With:
Bruno Lawrence Anna Jemison Greer Robson Keith Aberdein Les Kelly

Smash Palace is a thoroughly remarkable drama about a marital break-up which erupts into an impulsive kidnapping of a child by its father and a totally-believable escalation to the brink of tragedy.

Roger Donaldson’s handling of actors is excellent, and his visual control constantly enthralling. The eponymous location is a vast junk-yard of cars, established by Al Shaw’s father, and now the panier of hope for Al, a former Grand Prix driver, returned to a remote New Zealand country town with a pregnant French wife.

However, his wife has, during the ensuing eight years, grown increasingly dissatisfied, and the early scenes economically establish the deeper reasons. The script’s expositional sequences are neatly handled, making the character development logically part of the narrative.

With strong performances by both Bruno Lawrence and Anna Jemison to work with, the director has effectively created a reality to the tension that goes beneath the surface – or as it might be said: has re-created real life on film.

Popular on Variety

Smash Palace

New Zealand

Production: Aadvark. Director Roger Donaldson; Producer Roger Donaldson; Screenplay Roger Donaldson; Camera Graeme Cowley; Editor Mike Horton; Music Sharon O'Neill; Art Director Reston Griffiths

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: Bruno Lawrence Anna Jemison Greer Robson Keith Aberdein Les Kelly

More Film

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard – “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a comeback. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s “Breaking Bad” movie quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Samara Weaving and Adam Brody Big

    'Ready or Not': That Time Samara Weaving Hit Andie MacDowell in the Face

    Samara Weaving didn’t mean to hurt Andie MacDowell, but she did just that while they were rehearsing for their new horror dark comedy “Ready or Not.” “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident,” Weaving says on this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “It was horrible. It was [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

  • Soul Movie

    Pixar's 'Soul' Announces Voice Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey to Star

    Disney debuted a first look at upcoming Pixar film “Soul” at the D23 expo in Anaheim, Calif. and announced its star-studded voice cast. “Soul” imagines that every person on earth comes pre-installed with a soul formed and perfected in a cosmic realm. Jamie Foxx will play a middle-school music teacher on earth who dreams of [...]

  • Emma Stone Variety Actors on Actors

    First Look at Emma Stone in Disney's Live-Action 'Cruella' Drops

    Emma Stone’s Cruella de Vil is significantly more punk rock than her animated counterpart. Stone appeared via video message to debut the first look of the titular character in Disney’s “Cruella” at D23 on Saturday, also revealing that it will take place in the punk rock era of the 1970s. In the first photo, Stone [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content