7.1/10
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50 user 59 critic

The Last Wave (1977)

A Sydney lawyer defends five Aborigines 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 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:

The dream that became a nightmare. His was 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

The dark and black, stormy and rainy weather conditions were created by using wind machines and gigantic hoses, the latter being operated from a number of fire engines. 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

Michael Zeadler: The people that are *called* aborigines in the city, they're no different from the depressed whites. We destroy their languages, their ceremonies, songs, their dances... and their tribal laws.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kot Shryodingera (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

One of my favorites for atmosphere
31 March 2002 | by lauloiSee all my reviews

I am a big fan of this film and may not be able to make a coherent case for it, especially after reading some of the lukewarm comments some of the viewers offer. I agree that some of the themes could have been developed better, and think that the ending smacks of a "Planet of the Apes" solution to a mystery, yet this film is superb for its relentless atmosphere of otherworldly possibility.

Perhaps I associate this film with the strangeness of the 1970's, when Pyramid Power, UFO cults, and interest in occult phenomena occupied much of popular culture. Weir plays on the apocalyptic feelings of many in that decade with his shots of mud falling from the skies and other phenomena. One of my all time favorite scenes is when Charlie the shaman visits the urbane upper-middle class household of Richard Chamberlain et al. and asks to see the family photo album. I still get chills up my spine thinking of that one.

An element that I enjoyed is the counter-intuitive idea that "there are no tribal aborigines" living in Australian cities...they are all assimilated into the European worldview. This opinion, asserted by the most prominent aborigine in the movie, is subverted bit by bit until the very structure of European logic (as represented by the lawyer Chamberlain) is completely undermined by the end of the movie. Another amazing touch is the juxtaposition of the aboriginal sacred cave complex and what the Europeans are using it for, and Chamberlains descent into all that darkness.

Don't try viewing this one on a commercial channel, it will make very little sense broken up in pieces. Rent it, suspend disbelief a little, and enjoy.


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