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Wake in Fright (1971)

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After a bad gambling bet, a schoolteacher is marooned in a town full of crazy, drunk, violent men who threaten to make him just as crazy, drunk, and violent.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Doc Tydon
...
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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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

Budget:

AUD 700,000 (estimated)

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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When John first meets Doc in the steakhouse, Doc's beer can switches from hand to hand while he is drinking. See more »

Quotes

Van Driver: [John is declining an invitation from the stranger who gave him a ride in a jeep] Come on, come and have a drink.
John Grant: Look mate, I've given up drinking for a while.
Van Driver: 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?
John Grant: 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Australian Movies to the World (1983) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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...


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