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
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 »
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 »
[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 »
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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