Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But his one night stretches to five and he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left... Written by
A television remake, which is currently in production, is set to be released in 2017. See more »
When John first meets Doc in the steakhouse, Doc's beer can switches from hand to hand whilst he is drinking. See more »
[John is declining an invitation from the stranger who gave him a ride in a jeep]
Come on, come and have a drink.
Look mate, I've given up drinking for a while.
What's wrong with you, you bastard? Why don't you come and drink with me? I've just brought you fifty miles in the heat and dust, and you won't drink with me? What's wrong with you?
What's the matter with you people, huh? Sponge on you, burn your house down, murder your wife, rape your child, that's all right. But you don't have a drink,...
[...] See more »
I noted that Speen and some other media commentators think that 'Wake in Fright' was a foreign product that just happened to be made here in Oz.
My father was approached by EMI in 1967 or there abouts. The introduction of colour TV in the US had created a demand for weekly films on the networks, and they were rapidly exhausting the supply of colour films (colour only became the norm post WWII).
EMI was approaching media companies around the world to produce films for cinema release. The two caveats were that the films must contain at least one US marqee name (a recognisable draw card), and the rights for US TV must be given to EMI. All other matter of production were a matter for locals.
My father - who was running a large company in OZ (which had a recording arm) and had been involved in the start of TV, signed up.
The result were to very different films. "Squeeze a Flower" with Walter Chiari (who had starred in 'They're a Weird Mob' two years earlier) with Jack Albertson as the US star, and 'Wake in Fright' with Donald Pleasance as the star.
They utilised largely Oz casts, largely Oz crew and were moderately successful financially (from the Oz viewpoint, I don't know how EMI faired). Even Dave Allen who many now think of as an English or Irish star was the host of 'In Sydney Tonight' at the time (the Harbourside version of Graham Kennedies 'In Melbourne Tonight').
The follow on from this scheme of EMI was the beginings of TV features - specifically filmed for TV as feature films. But "Squeeze a Flower" and "Wake in Fright" were Oz films created for a TV market.
The success of 'Wake in Fright'and 'Walkabout' at the same time, along with the support of the Gorton Government for backing the new film push, started the ball rolling for Oz film's renaissance.
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