"Smash Palace" Is Released

Smash Palace is a New Zealand feature film, released in 1981.

It was directed by Roger Donaldson and starred Bruno Lawrence, Anna Jemison, Greer Robson and Keith Aberdein.

The film features a number of excellent performances, notably those of Bruno Lawrence and the ten-year-old Greer Robson. It was successful in its home land, and received good critical reviews in the United States, with Pauline Kael describing it as "amazingly accomplished", and the New York Times picking it as one of its ten movies of the year. Bruno Lawrence received an award for Best Actor at the 1982 Manila Film Festival for his portrayal of Al Shaw.

A key entry in the "renaissance" of the New Zealand film industry, Smash Palace stars Bruno Lawrence as an ex-racing champ. Returning home to take over his late father's business, Lawrence finds that his sophisticated European wife Anna Jemison is bored beyond measure at her new existence. She throws him over in favor of his best friend, policeman Keith Aberdein. Lawrence might have been able to weather his wife's leaving him, but it is too much to bear when she takes their daughter with her. Shoved over the edge, Lawrence kidnaps the child, precipitating a grueling cross-country chase. Co-written by star Bruno Lawrence, Smash Palace was garlanded with praise from some of the world's most influential film critics. It's not that good, but it certainly holds one's rapt attention from start to finish. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide