Mad Max (1979) Poster


Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema and certified video releases (American dub) were cut by 48 seconds by the BBFC to keep an X (18) rating and to prevent the film from being banned, as X was the highest rating. They edited the scene where the bikers tear up the hot-rod with the terrified couple inside. Instead, the scene cut to black as the bikers smashed the first window and resumed on the bird hovering overhead. Though the original uncertified 1982 video release of the American dub from Warner Home Video was released uncut, the cut was re-instated on the 1986 18-rated VHS, but was restored in 1992 when the Australian dialogue version was finally released in the UK and to all later releases with the same rating (although Warner's budget labels SCREEN CLASSICS still put out the American dub with the cut scene well into the 90s). In April 2015, the film was passed with a 15 rating uncut, because of "(the scene's) implied nature and lack of visual detail of the acts themselves". The same reason was given for passing it at 18 uncut back in 1992.
The 5.1 remix from 2001 restores the original Australian dub but has many changes compared to the original mix. Besides changing some of the sound effects, several others are missing. Also a line of dialogue in the scene when Johnny has his foot handcuffed is missing. The Australian mono track on the 2001 DVD and both the MGM and Shout! Factory blu-ray is a downmix of the 5.1 track. The true Australian mono track was considered a rarity on home video until when Kino Lorber released the movie in 4K for the first time and restored the proper Australian mono track.
The US dub not only re-dubbed all of the Australian dialogue but also changed a bunch of sound effects and added others in various scenes. Like whenever Max hits his car after shooting one of the bikers towards the end, and whenever Max runs to his wife and son after they were run over by the bikers, footstep sounds and a sound effect of the rifle falling to the ground was added. None of these extra sounds were in the original Australian mono track.
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).
Japanese DVD features the original Australian dialog and contains the original theatrical trailer.
TV version is cut for violence and runs 88 minutes.
In 2000, MGM (which by this time had assumed control of the American International Pictures/Filmways/Orion Pictures library) re-issued the film in limited roadshow release in its original uncut version with the Australian dialogue track intact.
German DVD features the original Australian dialogue.
MGM's 2002 DVD release, called the "Special Edition," contains the original Australian English dialog track. There are also options that play the film with American International's replacement U.S. dubbed track as well as a pan and scan version. This DVD version runs 93 minutes.
The dubbed American release changed some bits of dialog from Australian slang and phrases into American ones. Hence, "windscreen" became "windshield", "See looks!" became "Look see!", and "Very toey!" became "Super hot!".

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Connections | Soundtracks

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