Fortress (1985)

TV Movie  |  TV-MA  |   |  Action, Horror, Thriller  |  24 November 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,995 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 11 critic

An Australian school teacher and her students are kidnapped. She and the children fight for their lives and try to escape from their captors.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Garlick ...
Sally Jones
Elaine Cusick ...
Mrs. O'Brien
Laurie Moran ...
Mr. O'Brien
Tommy (as Marc Gray)
Ray Chubb ...
Bradley Meehan ...
Beth Buchanan ...
Anna Crawford ...
Richard Terrill ...
Dabby Duck
Peter Hehir ...
David Bradshaw ...
Pussy Cat


"Fortress" explores a shocking concept which shows how easily a borderline between a victim and an attacker can be crossed. The children and the teacher, calm and peaceful by nature, when driven beyond their limits by the kidnappers, eventually respond with a cruelty and fury extending that of their oppressors. Written by &view=simple&sort=alpha" >Jaromir "Vassago" Krol <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


For one teacher and nine children, the lesson of the day is kill or be killed. See more »


TV-MA | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fortaleza  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to the "Australian Motion Picture Yearbook 1981/82", during this film's development, Robert Stigwood's production company R and R Films and director Bruce Beresford were originally slated as being on board for the movie. This however, would change. See more »


During the shots of the youngest girl (Sarah) underwater, she is shown with the markings on her face that she puts in place later in the movie as war paint. See more »


Father Christmas: Get in the Van!
See more »


References Hill Street Blues (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A well done morality tale
8 July 2007 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

What we have here is a fairly obscure little made for Australian TV movie that takes a common plot (kidnap) and moulds an interesting little morality tale around it. The theme seen in this film was previously seen in classics such as The Virgin Spring, and later The Last House on the Left, except here it arguably more shocking (though much less visceral) as there are children involved. The question that the movie asks is whether or not it is OK to "do unto others as they do unto you", though it never actually makes a judgement on this and the audience is left to decide - which makes the film instantly more interesting than morality tales that preach to the viewer (recent Oscar winner Crash is a good example of how badly that can turn out). The plot focuses on a school teacher and her class. Their ordinary day is ruined when men with guns decide to take them all hostage and hold them for ransom. They manage to escape the kidnappers, but find themselves running out of steam as every escape attempt is thwarted. They soon realise that the best to get away from the villains may not be to run, but to stand and fight...

This film works because the plot is kept simple and this allows us to focus on the important points that the story has to make. The characters we are introduced to are all likable and believable also; and this again helps to convey the film's message as we can understand why they have been lured into the situation that they find themselves in. The acting in the film is decent considering it's a TV movie. Rachel Ward plays the part of the school teacher well, and definitely seems to have a rapport with the children. A Problem that often befalls films like this is that the child actors tend to be annoying; but surprisingly, this film manages to avoid slipping into that pitfall as even the kids manage decent performances! The first half of the movie doesn't feature a lot in the way of excitement, but things really hot up in the second half and the ending is certainly worth waiting for. I can't say that this is a great movie, but it's certainly a very good one and one that fans of horror/thrillers will certainly want to check out!

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