7.7/10
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73 user 136 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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Photos

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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:

From nowhere he came - through hell he went... 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

There are two drink sizes ordered - a middy (10 fluid oz or 285 ml) and a schooner (15 fluid oz or 425 ml). 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.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

PRODUCERS' NOTE: The hunting scenes depicted in this film were taken during an actual kangaroo hunt by professional licensed hunters. For this reason and because the survival of the Australian kangaroo is seriously threatened, these scenes were shown uncut after consultation with the leading animal welfare organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom. See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #2.38 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain
(uncredited)
Traditional, based on a Negro spiritual song known as "When the Chariot Comes"
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 soaringhorseSee 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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