Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Enriched by a phalanx of deeply-etched characters straight out of New Zealand's finest folklore, this winning comedy by Kiwi director Ian Mune tells the story of two buddies out to ride a great horse-racing scam for as long as they can. Based on a story by the late writer Ronald Hugh Morrieson, the setting is around 1949 in rural New Zealand. Wes Pennington (Peter Bland) and his pal Cyril (Philip Gordon) are inveterate gamblers who have joined forces to bilk local bookies by taking advantage of delayed broadcasts of horse races. The duo do not linger long in each place, 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, but outstanding among them is the Tainuia Kid (Billy T. James) who is a kind of protector for the put-upon, gambling duo. The "Kid" is a mix of modern New Zealand ingenuity and traditional patriotic values, with a bit of humor thrown in as well. Viewers do not have to be from New Zealand to appreciate the story, the comedy, and the characters that emerge in this entertaining film.
arson, bootlegging, con/scam, gambling, horse-racing, murder