Down 1,498 this week

The Last Wave (1977)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  January 1979 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,937 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 46 user | 49 critic | 5 from

A Sydney lawyer defends five Aborigines in a ritualized taboo murder and in the process learns disturbing things about himself and premonitions.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 28 May 2012
a list of 29 titles
created 04 Dec 2012
a list of 43 titles
created 02 Dec 2013
a list of 41 titles
created 18 Mar 2014
a list of 42 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Last Wave" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Last Wave (1977)

The Last Wave (1977) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Last Wave.
4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During a rural picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Rachel Roberts, Anne-Louise Lambert, Vivean Gray
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The small town of Paris, Australia deliberately causes car accidents, then sells/salvages all valuables from the wrecks as a means of economy.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Terry Camilleri, John Meillon, Kevin Miles
The Plumber (TV Movie 1979)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young couple, living in a campus apartment complex, are repeatedly harassed by an eccentric plumber, who subjects them to a series of bizarre mind games while making unnecessary repairs to their bathroom.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Judy Morris, Ivar Kants, Robert Coleby
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hunt
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty
Gallipoli (1981)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr
Fearless (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez
Green Card (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A man wanting to stay in the US enters into a marriage of convenience, but it turns into more than that.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Andie MacDowell, Bebe Neuwirth
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man named Zac Hobson awakens to find himself alone in the world. In a desperate attempt to search for others, he finds only two who have their own agenda.

Director: Geoff Murphy
Stars: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Pete Smith
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build a utopia in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher and ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, River Phoenix
Walkabout (1971)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two young siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg
Homesdale (1971)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Guests arrive at an expensive private guest house on a remote island near Sydney. The guest house and weird activities, like theatre sports and orienteering, are run by a leery eccentric. ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Geoff Malone, Grahame Bond, Kate Fitzpatrick


Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia Hamnett ...
Chris Lee (as Gulpilil)
Frederick Parslow ...
Vivean Gray ...
Nandjiwarra Amagula ...
Walter Amagula ...
Gerry Lee
Roy Bara ...
Cedrick Lalara ...
Morris Lalara ...
Peter Carroll ...
Michael Zeadler
Athol Compton ...
Billy Corman
Hedley Cullen ...
Michael Duffield ...
Andrew Potter
Wallas Eaton ...
Morgue Doctor


A Sydney lawyer has more to worry about than higher-than-average rainfall when he is called upon to defend five Aboriginals in court. Determined to break their silence and discover the truth behind the hidden society he suspects lives in his city, the Lawyer is drawn further, and more intimately, into a prophesy that threatens a new Armageddon, wherein all the continent shall drown. Written by David Carroll <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hasn't the weather been strange...could it be a warning? See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

January 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Rain  »

Box Office


AUD 810,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many of the production personnel on this movie worked on director Peter Weir's previous film, Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975). This included producers Jim McElroy and Hal McElroy, actors Tony Llewellyn-Jones and Vivean Gray, camera operator John Seale, DOP Russell Boyd as well as several other technical crew and personnel. See more »


When Chamberlin's character leaves his office and drives in the rain the windshield wipers are moving at a fast rate. When the shot changes to inside the car the wipers are suddenly moving at a slower rate. See more »


Chris Lee: [to David Burton] But you ... I think you may be mukuru. You different tribe ... from another world ... across the sea ... from sunrise.
See more »


Referenced in Prisoner: Cell Block H: Episode #1.263 (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

part of a wave of really good movies
12 June 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

"The Last Wave" is one of those movies that relies heavily on the mind. The title refers to the Aboriginal doomsday theory: there will be one last wave that wipes out everything.

David Burton (Richard Chamberlain) is a Sydney lawyer hired to defend some Aborigines accused of murder. Around this time, there has been unusually heavy rainfall in Australia. While defending the Aborigines, David learns the last wave theory, and begins to wonder whether it's just mythology.

The movie's last sequence is a metaphor for descending into the depths of one's mind. Peter Weir created a perplexing, but thought-provoking, movie. Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil (whom you may have seen in "Walkabout", "Crocodile Dundee" and "Rabbit-Proof Fence") provides an interesting supporting role as one of the defendants.

If you get a chance, watch the "making of" feature on the DVD. Peter Weir explains some of the film's undertones, some of which relate to Richard Chamberlain's background.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
explain the ending Frederic1988
This movie is so sick mulvanes
why isn't... dfox79
im offended hoppityhoppity
name change??? Black Rain - The Last Wave Yemaya2005
Richard Chamberlain's mask Jean-Bagin
Discuss The Last Wave (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: