Episode 40: Came A Hot Friday (1984)

Arriba! When two hapless con artists attempt to run a horse-racing scam in the small provicial town of Tainuia they end up in far more trouble than they bargained for. A fast-paced and raucous comedy, Ian Mune’s Came A Hot Friday brings another Ronald Hugh Morrieson story to the screen with style and creates one of the most indelible New Zealand movie characters in the process. Hayden and L.J. hold back their giggling long enough to talk about the craft behind the film’s comedic set-pieces, the way the adaptation streamlines (and sanitises) Morrieson’s novel, and Billy T. James’ iconic performance as The Tainuia Kid.

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Director: Ian Mune
Producer: Larry Parr
Screenplay: Dean Parker, Ian Mune from the novel by Ronald Hugh Morrieson
Director of photography: Alun Bollinger
Editor: Ken Zemke
Composer: Steven McCurdy

Wes Pennington…
Peter Bland
Cyril Kidman…Philip Gordon
The Tainuia Kid…Billy T. James
Don Jackson…Michael Lawrence
Sel Bishop…Marshall Napier
Norm Cray…Don Selwyn


  • The best way to watch Came A Hot Friday these days is through NZ Film On Demand. The only good DVD release is now OOP, but shouldn’t be too difficult to find from second-hand sources. NZ Videos has more info about the various ways to obtain the film.
  • Morrieson’s novel has been reprinted numerous times and copies aren’t hard to come by. There should be a copy at a library near you, and second-hand bookstores and book fairs are always a safe bet. Failing that, new copies of the Popular Penguins reprint from 2010 can be found at various online retailers.
  • There are some lovely details about the film’s production and reception in this article from NZ On Screen.

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