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Wake in Fright (1971)

 -  Drama  -  21 July 1971 (France)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,939 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 47 user | 99 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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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

Official Sites:

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

Charlie mentions Ned Kelly. Ned Kelly is an infamous bushranger/ bandit/ folk hero in Australia and subject of several films - the earliest from 1906 and the most recent from 2003. 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: I'm a doctor of medicine. And a tramp by temperament. I'm also an alcoholic. My disease prevented me from practicing in Sydney. But out here it's scarcely noticeable.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ozploitation Trailer Explosion (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Grey Mare
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by passengers on the train
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User Reviews

 
Disturbing and Magnificent
19 July 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It is this film which tells me more about Australia than any other.

Shown this film by Australian film scholar Cath Ellis i was captivated from start to finish. It is this film which does not flinch from the heart of Australian masculinity. There is no romanticism as with that found in Gallipoli or Newsfront.

We are slowly drawn into the disintegrating world of a hapless teacher who is trapped in the Australian interior. This isn't the Australian dream of the new frontier, this is a vision of Hell.

By the finale you will be swearing (as many Australian students apparently do when confronted with this film) that it cannot be that bad, the rampant hyper masculinity on display is too much and too wantonly violent. Hmmm.

The film is notorious for scenes of a Kangaroo being brutally murdered by a pack of drunken men engaging in an uncontrollably escalating series of dares. It is one of the most damning scenes about the pillage of Australia you could ever see. But like a train wreck you cannot avert your eyes.

On a cheekily upbeat note, look out for Donald Pleasance who seems to be enjoying the whole thing far too much. It looks like they were paying him in beer...


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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