7.7/10
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78 user 139 critic

Wake in Fright (1971)

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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 »

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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
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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:

Outback See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1971 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Outback See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,761, 7 October 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$50,394, 21 December 2012
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlie's line "Got snakes in yer pocket, have you?" (when John Grant doesn't immediately pay for his drink) and Tim Hynes' quip "I was just checking your oil" (when he bumps into a bar patron with his pool cue) were both improvised by John Meillon and Al Thomas respectively. See more »

Goofs

When the vocalist for the band at the RSL club is heard singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", he is not actually singing in the first shot. 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 Casino (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
(uncredited)
Written by Johnny Marks
Performed by a band at the RSL Club
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the great movies of all time
1 July 1999 | by Zane-14See all my reviews

This is one of my favourite films of all time and I'm not surprised when I hear of others who also see it as one of their favourites (including singer Nick Cave and Robert Mitchum). Detailing the life of a city school teacher stuck in an Australian outback town, this movie shows in great detail the ugly side of Australian country life that the Australian tourist authorities attempt to hide. Excellent performances by all the actors, including Donald Pleasance, Jack Thompson, John Mellion and the legendary Australian character actor Chips Rafferty (in his final film) help give the film a very gritty "real" texture.

Known as "Wake in Fright" in Australia, the film is still powerful nearly thirty years after it was made, although viewers unaccustomed to the Australian lingo may need an Australian strine dictionary to get them through some scenes. I saw this film with a Polish friend who was so overawed by the film and wanted to get a copy of the movie to take back to Poland and show it commercially there.

As an interesting side note, at the end of the film, in the spot usually reserved for the caption "No animals were harmed in the filming of this movie" is instead a note stating that the kangaroos killed during the making of the movie were killed as part of an official kangaroo culling programme.

See this movie if you can.


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