The Seekers

The Seekers - aka: Land of Fury - 1954

Fanfare/GFD for J. Arthur Rank - 88 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 8420018444146; 9318500034380; 5060082515347

Cast: Jack Hawkins, Glynis Johns, Inia Te Wiata, Noel Purcell, Kenneth Williams, Laya Raki, Patrick Warbrick, Francis DeWolff.
Crew: Screenplay: William Fairchild; Photography: Geoffrey Unsworth; Editor: John D. Guthridge; Music: William Alwyn; Producer: George H. Brown; Director: Ken Annakin.

The first colour feature to be made in New Zealand, it included a professional crew and cast from the UK, with some local talent added for effect. Mostly filmed around Whakatane. Although the story is not new, and contains a perspective of the civilised English settler vs. the south pacific savage, the professionalism of the the Maori actors does provide a somewhat unexpected quality to this otherwise tired drama. Nice original soundtrack aided by memorable New Zealand scenery.

Censor Rating: PG - Review Rating: B-


The Seekers
Official MP4 Trailer


A re-mastered R2-PAL DVD is available from Spain with original English soundtrack, plus optional Spanish soundtrack and optional Spanish subtitles. It is in the original 1.33:1 format, with 2.0 dolby digital sound. The transfer is excellent - far better than the vhs version, so if you can play R2 discs, it is clearly the way to go.
Selling for about $20us, you might try

As of April 2010, Beyond Home Entertainment [AU] is distributing a Rank Organisation PAL R4 3-disc set they call, "Classic Matinee Triple Bill: Classic Romance", that includes 'The Seekers'. It has the original English soundtrack, but no subtitles or any extras. It's quality seems to be the same as the R2 one from Spain. The other two discs contain 'The Astonished Heart' and 'The Beachcomber'. The set is selling for about $15au, $20nz, $13us, 10eur or 8.50#.

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Peter Ryan -

Anthony Nield DVD Review

User Comments at IMDB

"The Seekers is a very large and solemn film, in the 'Western' style, taking for its subject early nineteenth- century British colonisation - a field largely unexplored by film- makers, and full of promise. The promise is not fulfilled. The grandeur which is found even in mediocre American Westerns is lacking. The plot is melodramatic and the scripting stilted and gauche [...] The theme of the noble savage (also a Western characteristic) succeeds better, thanks largely to a performance of great dignity by Inia Te Wiata. The glimpses of Maori life and customs are interesting, and are fairly new cinema material; again, however, the rather self- conscious introduction, almost as 'numbers', of singing and dancing, and the evident cosmopolitanism of the Maori tribe, emphasise rather than suspend disbelief" - (MFB, No.247, vol.21, August 1954, pg.117)

"Considerable care and imagination have been lavished on this epic tale of Empire building in New Zealand, with hundreds of Maori providing authentic background. It is a powerful story of pioneering days in the last century, marred by man's weakness and betrayal. But its interpretation falls short of the author's conception, the camerawork and native players providing better value than the stars" - (Variety, July 7, 1954)


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Short video of the world premiere activities - Wellington 24 June 1954.

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