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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:

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Doc Tydon
... John Grant
... Jock Crawford
... Janette Hynes
... Dick
Peter Whittle ... Joe
Al Thomas ... Tim Hynes
... Charlie
John Armstrong ... Atkins
Slim DeGrey ... Jarvis (as Slim De Grey)
Maggie Dence ... Receptionist
Norman Erskine ... Joe the Cook
Owen Moase ... 1st Controller
John Dalleen ... 2nd Controller
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:

The Outback. A strange place, with strange names like "Tiboonda"... "Bundanyabba"... strange people... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1971 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Outback  »

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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:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Doc Tydon has a Major Mitchell Cockatoo in the cage at his hut. 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.
Portly Boy: Give my love to your girlfriend in Sydney, sir.
John Grant: I'll do that, sir, thank you.
Chris: Have a happy holiday, sir.
John Grant: [shakes his hand] And you, Chris. Thank you. Enjoy yourself.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Aside from changing the title to "Outback", all international prints credit Group W Films (the more-recognized American production partner) ahead of NLT Productions. With the restoration of the uncut Australian release, this has been reversed. 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Kotcheff's walkabout
28 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

It's been said: "The best film ever made about Australia was directed by a Canadian." Possibly true. "Outback/Wake in Fright" is one of those films which gets a little too close for comfort. Unlike most Australians, those of us who grew up in the country will recognise a lot in this film, not always with displeasure.

What a strange, malleable career Ted Kotcheff has had. Of late he has retired to the relative comfort of making TV movies and even contributed to "Law and Order SVU". Yet like Nicolas Roeg ("Walkabout"), Kotcheff's brief spot of work in Australia was a wake-up call to a blinkered urban population (or those that went to the movies at any rate) to the complexity of the outback, in all its bloody glory, dispensing with the romantic pills we were used to swallowing. Kenneth Cook's novel should be held in equal regard, but his writing doesn't get much press these days, which is a shame.

Television prints of this film - rarely shown these days - heavily censor the kangaroo kills, which says a lot about the hypocrisy of the city. Uncut version is essential viewing.


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