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Mad Max (1979)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  12 April 1979 (Australia)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 141,464 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 292 user | 202 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Burns ...
Roger Ward ...
David Bracks ...
Bertrand Cadart ...
Robina Chaffey ...
Stephen Clark ...
Mathew Constantine ...
Jerry Day ...
Reg Evans ...


A vision of an apocalyptic future set in the wastelands of Australia. Total social decay is just around the corner in this spectacular cheap budget gang orientated road movie, where the cops do their best to lay down the law and the outlaw gangs try their hardest to defy the system. Leather clad Max Rockatansky husband, father and cop turns judge, juror and executioner after his best friend, wife and baby are killed. Here we see the final days of normality of a man who had everything to live for, and his slip into the abyss of madness. Mad Max is the antihero on the road to vengeance and oblivion. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He rules the roads. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

12 April 1979 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Mad Max  »

Box Office


$650,000 (estimated)


AUD 5,625,000 (Australia)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (special edition)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although it is now referred to as an (or "the") Interceptor, Max's black car is technically a Pursuit Special. It was referred to as "the last of the V8 interceptors" in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), but never actually named in "Mad Max". The MFP dispatcher says over the radio, after Max takes the car, "Code unspecified. We have a 'query/locate' on a black Pursuit Special: Unauthorized use by a Main Force officer. This is designated as a potential Code 3 Red Alert." See more »


When Jesse and May are being chased in the station wagon, it quits running because of radiator failure due to a piece of the gate they drive through stuck in it. It can be seen when Jesse runs in front of the car. When Max runs by the car moments later, it is no longer visible in the radiator. See more »


Fifi: They say people don't believe in heroes anymore. Well damn them! You and me, Max, we're gonna give them back their heroes!
Max: Ah, Fif. Do you really expect me to go for that crap?
Fifi: You gotta admit I sounded good there for a minute, huh?
See more »


Referenced in Beyond the Grave (2010) See more »


Jessie's Theme
Written by Nic Gazzana
Performed by Joanne Samuel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a terrible beginning to a great franchise
4 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watched the Mad Max movies in reverse, which is a good thing because I never would have watched another after this one. Beyond the Thunderdome is still pretty amazing even today, and The Road Warrior is good and holds up fairly well even with its cheesiness. The original Mad Max is a complete waste of time. Long, boring sequences of people driving over backwater roads comprise about 70% of the movie. The "revenge" plot doesn't happen until 20 minutes before the end, as many have pointed out, and the "apocalyptic future" setting is something you'd never know from the movie itself - honestly anyone who says that is superimposing their memory of the later films over this one.

Most of the film is trying to build up to the final payoff, but it just doesn't work with today's pacing and audience. There's no story otherwise and the action is laughable by current standards. I really have no idea why there are so many positive reviews, other than the movie was probably good for its time and it helped spawn a tremendous series which went on to influence many other great stories and media (the Fallout games, for example). If you're curious about the series, do yourself a favor and read a plot synopsis on Wikipedia or something and then skip straight to The Road Warrior.

41 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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