Sleeping Dogs is a 1977 New Zealand dramatic action-thriller film, based on the book Smith's Dream by C. K. Stead, and directed by Roger Donaldson. Featuring Sam Neill, Clyde Scott and Warren Oates it is notable for being the first feature-length 35mm film produced entirely in New Zealand. The film was a major success critically and commercially and launched the career of Sam Neill, who later went on to do international works such as Jurassic Park, The Piano, Hunt for The Wilderpeople, and Peaky Blinders.
A political thriller with action film elements, it follows the lead character "Smith" (Neill) as New Zealand plunges into a police state as a fascist government institutes martial law after industrial disputes flare into violence. Smith gets caught between the special police and a growing resistance movement and reluctantly becomes involved. Often named one of the best New Zealand films of all time, it is considered a classic and a landmark in the new wave of cinema in the country, and is revered across the globe as the flame that lit the fire of New Zealand cinema going from small, melodramatic, derirative films to the modern reels that make the country so well known for the industry today.