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Mad Max (1979)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  12 April 1979 (Australia)
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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 ...
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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


The Maximum Force of the Future. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



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?


The handcuffs that Max uses on Johnny the Boy are novelty (toy) handcuffs. See more »


Goose falls on his left leg during his crash in the opening chase scene. In his next scenes, he has a cast on his right leg. See more »


Goose: It was like slow motion. He leaves his seat and goes through the windshield, headfirst straight into the tree, right? And then bounces back through the windshield. And by the time we got to him, he was just sitting there, trying to scream with his face ripped off.
Goose: What's the matter?
Restaurant Patron: Not hungry anymore.
Goose: Give it here.
See more »


Referenced in Prisoner: Cell Block H: Episode #1.297 (1982) See more »


Licorice Road
Written and Produced by Nic Gazzana
Performed by Robina Chaffey
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Potential of the Australian Film Industry
8 April 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Dr. George Miller's low budget Mad Max franchise impacted on Australian culture and altered the perception of Australia and Australians overseas in a way that no other Australian film had done. The films explores themes such as 'man and the environment', 'fear provoking post-apocalyptic future, family', 'masculinity in crisis', 'good versus evil (Max as an iconic hero), Australian ethos and car culture; themes often featured within Australian films yet presented in a stark and dramatic way. The cinematographic impact is powerful; the human and emotional appeal is timeless.

Australia's barren deserts presented the ideal setting for a post-apocalyptic environment. The film set is more identifiable as Australia as it was filmed around the city of Melbourne. Long deserted roads feature significantly in the film and the cinematographic device of taking long distant shots of Max demonstrates how small he is in the scale of the environment that he is living. It is a relentless, unforgiving environment which demands defeat or survival and marks the characters which play upon its stage.

Just as the physical setting is stark and desolate, the time setting and its associated events create an atmosphere of fear and foreboding which plays on the minds and emotions of contemporary viewers. In this fear provoking post apocalyptic future the few survivors of the nuclear holocaust are in warfare with one another, the rebel bikers and the police.

Good versus evil is a dominant discourse in many film genres and one which embraces the Australian ethos. Max possesses some highly valued "Australian" traits; in particular, those of the underdog, the battler, the hero. External forces beyond his control stop him from "winning" completely. Contrary to the Hollywood hero, the Australian hero is a pawn in the game of others, which explains why Max can never quite "win" in absolute terms. There is little public glorification of success in Australia; heroes are remembered for their style rather than for their achievements. (Venkatasawmy, 1996) Mad Max represented a tradition hero, a hero to whom many diverse cultures are able to relate, as a story of a lone hero is a story that goes back through centuries of storytelling, and as a consequence the film achieved colossal success within Australian and around the world. The Australian cultures and lifestyles shown throughout these films give Australians an understanding of their country in the landscape, the language, and the way we treat people, life and life in exceptional circumstances.

Reference Venkatasawmy, R. (1996), Australian Film in the Reading Room: The Hybridity of Film-making in Australian National Cinema: Formulating a Cinematic Post-Diaspora. Retrieved March 14, 2005, from

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