7.7/10
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68 user 132 critic

Wake in Fright (1971)

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2:02 | Trailer

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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 "Wake in Fright" by)
Reviews
Popularity
4,794 ( 202)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Peter Whittle ...
Joe
Al Thomas ...
...
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:

In northern Australia, there are five thousand square miles of sand, scrub and desolate heat... a primitive place that can take a man and destroy him. They call it the "Outback". See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1971 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Outback  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,761 (USA) (7 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are approximately 107 occurences in the film where a person drinks from a beer glass, beer bottle, whiskey bottle or whiskey glass. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[first lines]
John Grant: [checks his watch] Alright, off you go.
[children clamour as they leave the classroom]
Young Girl: Happy Christmas, teacher!
Dave: Happy new year.
John Grant: Thank you, Dave.
Portly Boy: Give my love to your girlfriend in Sydney, sir.
John Grant: I'll do that, sir, thank you.
Chris: Have a happy holiday, sir.
John Grant: [shakes his hand] And you, Chris. Thank you. Enjoy yourself.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

PRODUCERS' NOTE: The hunting scenes depicted in this film were taken during an actual kangaroo hunt by professional licensed hunters. For this reason and because the survival of the Australian kangaroo is seriously threatened, these scenes were shown uncut after consultation with the leading animal welfare organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom. 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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