A real-life car-wrecker's yard in the shadow of Mt Ruapehu provided the title and the setting for Roger Donaldson's thriller Smash palace. Powered by a pitch-perfect script and electrifying performances, it traces the psychological descent of a rugged ex-racing driver (played by Bruno Lawrence) after his marriage disintegrates. The film was rated one of the year's 10 best by the New York Times, and Donaldson soon left New Zealand for a long career in Hollywood.
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NZ On Screen
Reference: Smash palace. Producer, director and writer, Roger Donaldson. Aardvark Films, 1981.
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