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Wake in Fright (1971)

 -  Drama  -  21 July 1971 (France)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,082 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 50 user | 100 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
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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

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: 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 40,000 Years of Dreaming (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

She'll be coming around the mountain
(uncredited)
Traditional, based on a Negro spiritual
Sung by passengers on the train
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sweet Home Bundanyabba, where the skies are grim.
19 January 2008 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"Outback" is unlike any other film ever made and quite impossible to categorize. If the movie taught me anything at all, it's that the Aussies can drink seriously hard and loads of it. They even drink till they pass out and then immediately open another can when they come to their senses again. I thought only Belgians did that. You cannot possibly count the amount of beer cans and bottles that are consumed in this film and the most repeated line of text/monologue is without a doubt: "C'mon mate, let's have a drink then". Based on the novel by Kenneth Cook, "Outback" tells the story of a young school teacher visiting the little outback community of Bundanyabba, where the local population is so hospitable and acts so familiar it becomes truly disturbing. They fill their days with drinking, gambling, getting involved in bar fights, drinking again, kangaroo hunting and drinking some more. John initially disapproves their savage habits and looks somewhat down upon the villagers, but slowly and gradually he becomes one of them as he wastes his entire year salary on booze and primitive roulette games. "Outback" is very slow-paced and moody. Sometimes you can literally taste the copious amounts of liquor and experience the heat of the Aussie summer. The noticeable heat, together with the feeling pure geographical isolation truly makes the film disturbing and uncomfortable as hell. "Outback" works effectively as psychological drama but even more as the non-fictional portrait about a society that is largely unknown and unspoken of. The footage of the kangaroo hunting trip is haunting and very, very depressing. I was really relieved when, during the end credits, a message appeared on the screen to state that no real kangaroos were harmed during the production. The film mostly benefices from astonishingly mesmerizing photography, superb music and Ted Kotcheff's solid direction. The versatile and brilliant actor Donald Pleasance is even convincing as an Aussie drunkard and the rest of the relatively unknown cast delivers great performances as well. This is one of them unique movies you only encounter a couple of times in a lifetime, but it's incredibly obscure so if you find a copy treasure it. So mate … shall we have a beer then?


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