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Wake in Fright (1971)

 -  Drama  -  21 July 1971 (France)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,147 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 51 user | 101 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

John Grant, a bonded teacher, arrives in a rough outback mining town planning to stay overnight before starting his holiday. But one night stretches to several and with the aid of alcohol he plunges headlong toward his own destruction.

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(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Doc Tydon
Gary Bond ...
John Grant
Chips Rafferty ...
Jock Crawford
Sylvia Kay ...
Janette Hynes
...
Dick
Peter Whittle ...
Joe
Al Thomas ...
Tim Hynes
...
Charlie
John Armstrong ...
Atkins
Slim DeGrey ...
Jarvis (as Slim De Grey)
Maggie Dence ...
Receptionist
Norm Erskine ...
Joe the Cook (as Norman Erskine)
Owen Moase ...
1st Controller
John Dalleen ...
2nd Controller
Buster Fiddess ...
Charlie Jones
Edit

Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mining town | teacher | night | holiday | visit | See more »

Taglines:

Have a drink, mate? Have a fight, mate? Have some dust and sweat, mate? There's nothing else out here.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 July 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Outback  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,761 (USA) (5 October 2012)

Gross:

$50,394 (USA) (21 December 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is likely that the town of Bundanyabba is based on Broken Hill in NSW, the town where much was filmed. The train is seen arriving at Bundanyabba Sulphide St station, and Sulphide St is a genuine station in Broken Hill. Broken Hill is one of the most isolated inland city in Australia. See more »

Goofs

After arriving and checking into his room Grant goes for a drink in a hotel. It has interior notices saying "The Miners Hotel". This is where he meets Jock the Policeman. But a little later people are seen to be playing poker or slot machines which were not at that time in hotels. They also have to stand for "The Oath", a ritual only held at RSL Returned Servicemans clubs. Finally they are seen leaving the Imperial Hotel to walk across to the two up game for a feed. See more »

Quotes

'Doc' Tydon: The aim of what you call civilisation is a man in a smokin' jacket, whiskey and soda, pressing a bottom... button, to destroy a planet a billion miles away, and kill a billion people he's never seen.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2014: Episode dated 5 March 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Grey Mare
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by passengers on the train
See more »

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User Reviews

Kotcheff's walkabout
28 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

It's been said: "The best film ever made about Australia was directed by a Canadian." Possibly true. "Outback/Wake in Fright" is one of those films which gets a little too close for comfort. Unlike most Australians, those of us who grew up in the country will recognise a lot in this film, not always with displeasure.

What a strange, malleable career Ted Kotcheff has had. Of late he has retired to the relative comfort of making TV movies and even contributed to "Law and Order SVU". Yet like Nicolas Roeg ("Walkabout"), Kotcheff's brief spot of work in Australia was a wake-up call to a blinkered urban population (or those that went to the movies at any rate) to the complexity of the outback, in all its bloody glory, dispensing with the romantic pills we were used to swallowing. Kenneth Cook's novel should be held in equal regard, but his writing doesn't get much press these days, which is a shame.

Television prints of this film - rarely shown these days - heavily censor the kangaroo kills, which says a lot about the hypocrisy of the city. Uncut version is essential viewing.


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