7.7/10
9,332
84 user 142 critic

Wake in Fright (1971)

Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
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

Writers:

Evan Jones (screenplay), Kenneth Cook (based on the novel "Wake in Fright" by)
1 nomination. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Pleasence ... Doc Tydon
Gary Bond ... John Grant
Chips Rafferty ... Jock Crawford
Sylvia Kay ... Janette Hynes
Jack Thompson ... Dick
Peter Whittle Peter Whittle ... Joe
Al Thomas Al Thomas ... Tim Hynes
John Meillon ... Charlie
John Armstrong John Armstrong ... Atkins
Slim DeGrey Slim DeGrey ... Jarvis (as Slim De Grey)
Maggie Dence Maggie Dence ... Receptionist
Norman Erskine Norman Erskine ... Joe the Cook
Owen Moase Owen Moase ... 1st Controller
John Dalleen John Dalleen ... 2nd Controller
Buster Fiddess Buster Fiddess ... Charlie Jones
Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young schoolteacher finds himself marooned in a small mining town in the outback, where a string of dangerous events render him a broken, desperate man.

Stars: Sean Keenan, Alex Dimitriades, Caren Pistorius
Walkabout (1971)
Certificate: GP Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two city-bred siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback, where they learn to survive with the aid of an Aboriginal boy on his "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The younger son of a working-class Jewish family in Montreal, Duddy Kravitz yearns to make a name for himself in society. This film chronicles his short and dubious rise to power, as well ... See full summary »

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Micheline Lanctôt, Jack Warden
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During a rural summer 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
The Last Wave (1977)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil
Long Weekend (1978)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a suburban couple go camping for the weekend at a remote beach, they discover that nature isn't in an accommodating mood.

Director: Colin Eggleston
Stars: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets, Mike McEwen
Road Games (1981)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A truck driver plays a cat-and-mouse game with a mysterious serial killer on a desolate Australian highway.

Director: Richard Franklin
Stars: Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward
Seconds (1966)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An unhappy middle-aged banker agrees to a procedure that will fake his death and give him a completely new look and identity - one that comes with its own price.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Rock Hudson, Frank Campanella, John Randolph
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An insecure Briton and a Briton of Jamaican descent share a London apartment together.

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Robin Phillips, Judy Geeson, Ester Anderson
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jimmie Blacksmith, the son of an Aboriginal mother and a white father, falls victim to much racist abuse after marrying a white woman, and goes on a killing spree and finds himself on the run in the aftermath.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Tommy Lewis, Freddy Reynolds, Angela Punch McGregor
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The true story of Irish outlaw Daniel Morgan, who is wanted, dead or alive, in Australia during the 1850s.

Director: Philippe Mora
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Jack Thompson, David Gulpilil

Photos

Edit

Storyline

John Grant, a teacher working in the remote Australian town of Tiboonda, is under a financial bond with his Government job. At the end of term before Christmas holidays, he plans to visit his girlfriend in Sydney. In order to catch a flight to Sydney, he takes a train to the nearby mining town called Bundanyabba (or "The Yabba"), and plans to stay there overnight before moving on further to the airport. But things go grossly out of script as he is engulfed by the Yabba and its disconcerting residents. Written by PipingHotViews

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From nowhere he came - through hell he went... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the DVD commentary, the "artificial" banknotes printed for shooting the "Two-Up" gambling sequence looked so realistic that two extras were later arrested for trying to pass them off as genuine currency. See more »

Goofs

When John first meets Doc in the steakhouse, Doc's beer can switches from hand to hand whilst he is drinking. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Grant: [checks his watch] Alright, off you go.
[children clamour as they leave the classroom]
Young Girl: Happy Christmas, teacher!
Dave: Happy new year.
John Grant: Thank you, Dave.
Sam: Give my love to your girlfriend in Sydney, sir.
John Grant: I'll do that, Sam, thank you.
Chris: Have a happy holiday, sir.
John Grant: [shakes his hand] And you, Chris. Thank you. Enjoy yourself.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: All characters and events depicted in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original Australian release Gary Bond is shown naked during two shots. In the international version he is wearing underpants. See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Venice Film Festival 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Grey Mare
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by passengers on the train
See more »

User Reviews

magnificent desolation
28 April 2010 | by didi-5See all my reviews

This film, an Australian classic, was lost for many years before being restored for re-release a few years ago. Now it is being hailed as the saviour of modern Oz cinema, as a prime piece of Ozploitation, as a window into the outback. In fact 'Wake in Fright' was known as 'Outback' on its original European release (those of you who know 'Outback' will notice a couple of subtle differences in the original Australian film).

But the source novel was called 'Wake in Fright', and that title seems fitting. It is a story of a long hot weekend in the Yabba, a journey of self-discovery, a decline into drink, fights, kangaroo hunting (with actual documentary footage, so it is pretty graphic), sexual assault, and shooting. Our hero is John Grant (a rare leading film role for the late stage actor/singer Gary Bond, who is excellent), a teacher working out in the orange desert which is outback Australia, stuck miles away from his girlfriend and his family in a lonely existence. When we first meet him he's about to head to Sydney to spend some time away ... but there's just one night's stop off first.

This film is, on first glance, rather weird but extremely watchable. There's probably only four women in the whole piece, and two of those are mute parts. There's a lot of booze, and the grizzled, sarcastic law-maker (Chips Rafferty in his final role), and the dissolute, drunken 'Doc' (a wonderful performance from the versatile Donald Pleasance), and a lot of fighting and testosterone going on amongst the boys in the bush. Cultured, superior, and sensitive, Grant doesn't really have a hope of coping with all this. The rest of the film details what happens on that fateful weekend.

'Wake in Fright' says a lot about the human psyche, about what happens in the wild corners of the world, about loneliness, love, sex, death, and the friendship which exists in a community dominated 3 to l by men. It's shot with bright and harsh colours - red, yellow, orange - and it is violent, noisy, and uncomfortable. But this film does have a heart, and even 'Doc' arouses interest and sympathy as well as revulsion and recoil.

I really liked this film, although it isn't one I would generally have sought out. But if you look for strong characterisations and wonderfully detailed landscapes and cultures, then give this film a look.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 84 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1971 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Outback See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

AUD800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,761, 7 October 2012

Gross USA:

$50,394

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$218,164
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

NLT Productions, Group W See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed