Dean Spanley

Poster for Dean Spanley

Dean Spanley sees local boy Toa Fraser return to the director's chair after his successful debut project No. 2. This... More

Where to watch Dean Spanley

Dean Spanley is available to stream in New Zealand now... More on Apple TV Store and NZ Film On Demand and Beamafilm and AroVision.

Dean Spanley | Ratings & Reviews

"It's a dog's past life in "Dean Spanley," an immaculately cast, nicely handled and wafer-thin slice of Brit period-dress whimsy. Represents an odd sophomore feature choice for New Zealander Toa Fraser, whose big-hearted Maori family drama "No. 2" should have made more waves internationally... it does have its peculiar charms. But it's a talky, narrowly focused piece that feels like an after-dinner anecdote presented with the full ceremony of a formal meal. Pic will flit through theaters before finding more comfortable smallscreen berths."


"Small film, big delight."

Time OutTime Out

"This is a delightful, oddly moving film, immaculately acted, carefully skirting whimsy, and nicely located in its period."

The GuardianThe Guardian

"It is an intelligent, kind and gentle movie, with a lovely tale and a message about the glories of dogs and baying at the Moon. And every man, it seems, should have a dog."


"Obscure Edwardian whimsy, but finely filmed and acted."

New Zealand HeraldNew Zealand Herald

"A touching story of filial love and a delight to watch."


"It's a rather ludicrous setup for Toa Fraser’s Edwardian comedy; if it’s a premise you can swallow, you’ll probably enjoy the whole ripping yarn. The banter is quietly pithy, and the daft story eventually builds to a surprisingly moving conclusion – thanks largely to yet another masterful turn from O’Toole."

Little White LiesLittle White Lies

"A dull and thoroughly stilly British drama based on the idea of canine reincarnation."

Hollywood ReporterHollywood Reporter

"Wilfully whimsical and determinedly eccentric, this faintly bonkers period tale won’t be for everyone. But if you fall for Dean Spanley, you’ll fall hard."

Empire MagazineEmpire Magazine

"Ingenious and absorbing, nothing is over-played in this English-New Zealand co- production, which was shot in both countries. From Don McGlashan's perfect score to Leon Narbey's gorgeous cinematography in muted shades that give way to golden tones of memory, this is a gently amusing, thoroughly entertaining and moving film. The theme of bereavement and reincarnation gives way to rebirth and the recreation of a thwarted relationship with great grace and style. Recommended for dog lovers and anyone with a heart."

Christchurch PressChristchurch Press

Dean Spanley | Details

Award winner
Best Film, Director, Supporting Actor (O'Toole) and Screenplay at the NZ Film Awards 2009.
Comedy, Drama
Country of origin
New Zealand, UK

Dean Spanley | Trailers