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 »
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.
Angela Punch McGregor
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
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 »
When John first meets Doc in the steakhouse, Doc's beer can switches from hand to hand whilst he is drinking. See more »
[checks his watch]
Alright, off you go.
[children clamour as they leave the classroom]
Happy Christmas, teacher!
Happy new year.
Thank you, Dave.
Give my love to your girlfriend in Sydney, sir.
I'll do that, Sam, thank you.
Have a happy holiday, sir.
[shakes his hand]
And you, Chris. Thank you. Enjoy yourself.
[...] See more »
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 »
In the original Australian release Gary Bond is shown naked during two shots. In the international version he is wearing underpants. See more »
The Old Grey Mare
Sung by passengers on the train See more »
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.
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