7.1/10
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52 user 68 critic

The Last Wave (1977)

A Sydney lawyer defends five Aboriginal Persons in a ritualized taboo murder and in the process learns disturbing things about himself and premonitions.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Peter Weir (screenplay), Tony Morphett (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Chamberlain ... David Burton
Olivia Hamnett Olivia Hamnett ... Annie Burton
David Gulpilil ... Chris Lee (as Gulpilil)
Frederick Parslow Frederick Parslow ... Rev. Burton
Vivean Gray Vivean Gray ... Dr. Whitburn
Nandjiwarra Amagula Nandjiwarra Amagula ... Charlie
Walter Amagula Walter Amagula ... Gerry Lee
Roy Bara Roy Bara ... Larry
Cedrick Lalara Cedrick Lalara ... Lindsey
Morris Lalara Morris Lalara ... Jacko
Peter Carroll ... Michael Zeadler
Athol Compton Athol Compton ... Billy Corman
Hedley Cullen ... Judge
Michael Duffield Michael Duffield ... Andrew Potter
Wallas Eaton Wallas Eaton ... Morgue Doctor
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Storyline

A Sydney lawyer has more to worry about than higher-than-average rainfall when he is called upon to defend five Aboriginals in court. Determined to break their silence and discover the truth behind the hidden society he suspects lives in his city, the Lawyer is drawn further, and more intimately, into a prophesy that threatens a new Armageddon, wherein all the continent shall drown. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From dream to nightmare - a premonition of doom! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Italian | Aboriginal

Release Date:

January 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Rain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 810,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #142. See more »

Goofs

When Chamberlin's character leaves his office and drives in the rain the windshield wipers are moving at a fast rate. When the shot changes to inside the car the wipers are suddenly moving at a slower rate. See more »

Quotes

David Burton: We've lost our dreams. Then they come back and we don't know what they mean.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Last Wave: Interview with Director Peter Weir (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
part of a wave of really good movies
12 June 2005 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

"The Last Wave" is one of those movies that relies heavily on the mind. The title refers to the Aboriginal doomsday theory: there will be one last wave that wipes out everything.

David Burton (Richard Chamberlain) is a Sydney lawyer hired to defend some Aborigines accused of murder. Around this time, there has been unusually heavy rainfall in Australia. While defending the Aborigines, David learns the last wave theory, and begins to wonder whether it's just mythology.

The movie's last sequence is a metaphor for descending into the depths of one's mind. Peter Weir created a perplexing, but thought-provoking, movie. Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil (whom you may have seen in "Walkabout", "Crocodile Dundee" and "Rabbit-Proof Fence") provides an interesting supporting role as one of the defendants.

If you get a chance, watch the "making of" feature on the DVD. Peter Weir explains some of the film's undertones, some of which relate to Richard Chamberlain's background.


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