7.7/10
7,522
71 user 134 critic

Wake in Fright (1971)

Trailer
2:02 | Trailer

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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:

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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

As Grant leaves the hotel bar in Tiboonda, he takes one last swig of beer - leaving his glass half full. In the next shot, when the camera focuses on the interior of the bar, his glass is now empty. 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

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 Film '72: Episode dated 5 March 2014 (2014) 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

 
Disturbing and Magnificent
19 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

It is this film which tells me more about Australia than any other.

Shown this film by Australian film scholar Cath Ellis i was captivated from start to finish. It is this film which does not flinch from the heart of Australian masculinity. There is no romanticism as with that found in Gallipoli or Newsfront.

We are slowly drawn into the disintegrating world of a hapless teacher who is trapped in the Australian interior. This isn't the Australian dream of the new frontier, this is a vision of Hell.

By the finale you will be swearing (as many Australian students apparently do when confronted with this film) that it cannot be that bad, the rampant hyper masculinity on display is too much and too wantonly violent. Hmmm.

The film is notorious for scenes of a Kangaroo being brutally murdered by a pack of drunken men engaging in an uncontrollably escalating series of dares. It is one of the most damning scenes about the pillage of Australia you could ever see. But like a train wreck you cannot avert your eyes.

On a cheekily upbeat note, look out for Donald Pleasance who seems to be enjoying the whole thing far too much. It looks like they were paying him in beer...


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