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Mad Max (1979)

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In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.

Director:

George Miller

Writers:

James McCausland (screenplay), George Miller (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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788 ( 145)
4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Max
Joanne Samuel ... Jessie
Hugh Keays-Byrne ... Toecutter
Steve Bisley ... Jim Goose
Tim Burns ... Johnny the Boy
Roger Ward ... Fifi
Lisa Aldenhoven ... Nurse
David Bracks ... Mudguts
Bertrand Cadart ... Clunk
David Cameron ... Underground Mechanic
Robina Chaffey ... Singer
Stephen Clark Stephen Clark ... Sarse
Mathew Constantine Mathew Constantine ... Toddler
Jerry Day ... Ziggy
Reg Evans ... Station Master
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Storyline

Taking place in a dystopian Australia in the near future, Mad Max tells the story of a highway patrolman cruising the squalid back roads that have become the breeding ground of criminals foraging for gasoline and scraps. When his wife and child meet a grisly end at the hands of a motorcycle gang, Max sets out across the barren wastelands in search of revenge. Written by Cole Matthews

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Film That Started It All See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios (us) | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 March 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mad Max See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,750,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,000,000, 31 December 1982
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono | 4-Track Stereo (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, filming was scheduled to take ten weeks-six weeks of first unit, and four weeks on stunt and chase sequences. However, four days into shooting, Rosie Bailey, who was originally cast as Jessie, was injured in a bike accident. Production was halted, and Bailey was replaced by Joanne Samuel, causing a two-week delay. See more »

Goofs

When the Holden Monaro that the Nightrider has stolen passes the camera, at close range in one scene, we can see that the exhaust tips of the car are actually just dangling on the car and aren't actually connected at all. See more »

Quotes

Mudguts: [as Toecutter is harassing Jessie] Watch the tongue, lovable, I've seen him lick his own eyebrow clean!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version released in the U.S. was re-dubbed with American accents. It has been widely claimed that the distributor, American International Pictures (AIP), feared that American audiences would have had problems understanding the thick Australian accents spoken by the actors. However, now that the original track has surfaced Stateside, it is revealed to be poorly mixed, with the music score often overwhelming dialogue (the very important conversation between two doctors that Max overhears is almost entirely drowned out). AIP's releases were predominantly seen in drive-in theaters (where in fact most of this picture's US box office revenue was earned) and where at this time the audio came through little speakers hanging on the car windows. This would definitely have made the audio problems worse and is the probable motivation for the alternate audio track (AIP having mostly American voice actors available to them). See more »


Soundtracks

Licorice Road
(uncredited)
Written and Produced by Nic Gazzana
Performed by Robina Chaffey
Sung by Creenagh St. Clair
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Low budget classic that is now a genre landmark.
4 March 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Set somewhere in the future we are privy to a world where the roads are ruled by maniac gangs with souped up cars, and bikers that literally could come from hell. Trying to stop these marauding loons are the overstretched police force who themselves ride in exceptionally fast cars. At the front of this story is Max Rockatansky, a good honest cop trying to hold his own against the chaotic world that is forming around him. After his best friend is burned and left for dead he decides enough is enough and thinks about retiring from the service, but whilst on a vacation with his wife and child things go decidedly bad and Max becomes an avenging force of fury with devastating affect.

When evaluating this film I feel it really needs to be put into perspective just how brilliant a job director George Miller did with next to no cash to work with, in fact Miller edited the film in his own bedroom just to emphasise the low-fi nature of the beast. The costumes are excellent, the cast are terrific, with Mel Gibson as Max particularly impressive, and here we have villains to truly fit the word villainous, but it's the stunts and chase sequences that makes this film a rich rewarding experience. The opening ten minutes alone are pure adrenalin pumping genius, but the film as a whole delivers a crash bang wallop punch that has often been imitated since its release, but rarely bettered, and although the heart of the film is a simple revenge story, it grabs your attention and delivers right to the corking finale, 8/10.

Footnote: Region 2 Users should note that the bargain bucket Mad Max Trilogy flip pack set still contains the foolishly dubbed version of this film, incredibly stupid move from the American distributors.


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