IMDb > Wake in Fright (1971)
Wake in Fright
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Wake in Fright (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Wake in Fright -- Directed by Ted Kotcheff (Rambo - First Blood, North Dallas Forty), the film tells the story of a British schoolteacher's descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia.
Wake in Fright -- 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
Wake in Fright -- 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.
Wake in Fright -- Trailer for Wake in Fright


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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Evan Jones (screenplay)
Kenneth Cook (based on the novel by)
View company contact information for Wake in Fright on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 July 1971 (France) See more »
Have a drink, mate? Have a fight, mate? Have some dust and sweat, mate? There's nothing else out here.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(186 articles)
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User Reviews:
Every blow hits home See more (54 total) »


  (in credits order)

Donald Pleasence ... Doc Tydon
Gary Bond ... John Grant
Chips Rafferty ... Jock Crawford
Sylvia Kay ... Janette Hynes

Jack Thompson ... Dick
Peter Whittle ... Joe
Al Thomas ... Tim Hynes

John Meillon ... 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
Tex Foote ... Stubbs
Colin Hughes ... Stockman
Jacko Jackson ... Van Driver
Nancy Knudsen ... Robyn
Dawn Lake ... Joyce
Harry Lawrence ... Higgins
Robert McDarra ... Pig Eyes (as Bob McDarra)
Carlo Manchini ... Poker Player (as Carlo Marchini)
Liam Reynolds ... Miner
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gordon Piper ... Two Up Player (uncredited)

Directed by
Ted Kotcheff 
Writing credits
Evan Jones (screenplay)

Kenneth Cook (based on the novel by)

Produced by
Howard G. Barnes .... executive producer
Bill Harmon .... executive producer
Maurice Singer .... associate producer (as Maurice A. Singer)
George Willoughby .... producer
Original Music by
John Scott 
Cinematography by
Brian West 
Film Editing by
Anthony Buckley 
Casting by
Jill Dempster 
John Merrick 
Production Design by
Dennis Gentle 
Art Direction by
Dennis Gentle 
Costume Design by
Ron Williams (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Monica Dawkins .... makeup artist
Robert Hynard .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Howard Rubie .... first assistant director
Philip Austin .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Michael Falloon .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Appleton .... sound recordist
Keith Palmer .... sound editor
Hugh Strain .... sound mixer
Tim Wellburn .... sound editor
Eddy Joseph .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
John R. McLean .... camera operator (as John McLean)
Tony Tegg .... gaffer
Peter Hannan .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Peter Hannan .... cinematographer: second unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ron Williams .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Thom Noble .... post-production coordinator
Other crew
Rita Cavill .... continuity
Vivian Holmes .... production secretary
Lynda Levy .... producer assistant: post-production
John Shaw .... location manager
Fred Hift .... publicist: Great Britain and Europe (uncredited)
Antonio Saillant .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Outback" - Ireland (English title) (imdb display title), UK, USA
See more »
114 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M (2009) | France:-12 | Japan:R15+ (2014) | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:18 | Singapore:M18 | UK:18 | UK:X (original rating) | USA:R

Did You Know?

The movie had been out of circulation for decades because the negative went missing, sparking an international search. After a ten-year quest veteran Australian producer Anthony Buckley finally tracked it down in mid-2004 in a Pittsburgh warehouse, inside a shipping container marked "For Destruction".See more »
Continuity: As Grant leaves the hotel bar in Tiboonda, he takes one last swig of beer - leaving his glass half full. In the next shot, when the camera focuses on the interior of the bar, his glass is now empty.See more »
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, a flaming bloody drink with you, and it's a criminal offence, it's the end of the bloody world!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Ozploitation Trailer Explosion (2014) (V)See more »
She'll be coming around the mountainSee more »


What were the differences between the Australian and American release?
Did Doc and John have a homosexual encounter?
What was going on when the bar's patrons stood to attention while a war poem was broadcast?
See more »
20 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Every blow hits home, 18 July 2002
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia

Yet another first-class film made in Australia by foreigners (a Canadian director working for a British studio), during the long period from World War II to the early 1970s when Australian cinema lay fallow. Like many other good ones - "The Overlanders" (1946), "They're a Weird Mob" (1966), "Age of Consent" (1969), "Walkabout" (1971) - although "Walkabout" is more seriously flawed than the others I've named - it doesn't feel like a foreign film; it feels as if the director made an honest attempt to be Australian, and succeeded. It's interesting that all these films are British. American films shot in Australia during the same period are, without qualification, American films; one scarcely even notices that "On the Beach" was shot in Melbourne rather than, say, Capetown or Tierra del Fuego, however many trams and banksias there may be.

The central character is clearly English; just as clearly, he doesn't like Australia. But I suspect that even in 1971 a greater proportion of Australians would have felt themselves to have been trapped in Hell if they'd been in his circumstances, than English. A greater proportion of Australians, then as now, live in cities, and the outback is further away from over 90% of Australians than anything is from anyone in England.

It's interesting that this fellow should be so RIGHT about everything (The Yabba IS a "bloody terrible" place, the hospitality he encounters DOES border on aggression, the game of two-up IS about as simple-minded and dull as it's possible for a game of chance to be), and yet be such an unsympathetic, unimaginative prig with scarcely more insight than he has backbone. He always needs a local to tell him what's going on and even then he doesn't get it. Yet we follow him with fascination and real concern all the same.

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