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The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2 (original title)
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In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich community escape a horde of bandits.

Director:

George Miller

Writers:

Terry Hayes (screenplay by), George Miller (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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1,311 ( 315)
8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Max
Bruce Spence ... The Gyro Captain
Michael Preston ... Pappagallo (as Mike Preston)
Max Phipps ... The Toadie
Vernon Wells ... Wez
Kjell Nilsson ... The Humungus
Emil Minty ... The Feral Kid
Virginia Hey ... Warrior Woman
William Zappa ... Zetta
Arkie Whiteley Arkie Whiteley ... The Captain's Girl
Steve J. Spears Steve J. Spears ... Mechanic
Syd Heylen Syd Heylen ... Curmudgeon
Moira Claux Moira Claux ... Big Rebecca
David Downer David Downer ... Nathan
David Slingsby David Slingsby ... Quiet Man
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Storyline

A former Australian policeman now living in the post-apocalyptic Australian outback as a warrior agrees to help a community of survivors living in a gasoline refinery to defend them and their gasoline supplies from evil barbarian warriors. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ruthless... Savage... Spectacular See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

AUD 847,220 (Australia), 31 December 1981, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,527,864, 23 May 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,465,371
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints) (as Dolby Stereo)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The role of the Warrior Woman (Virginia Hey) was originally written for a man but then cast for Hey without having to make any major changes to the dialogue. See more »

Goofs

During the final chase, a Ford Fairlane with police lights on the roof gets firebombed by the guards on the tanker. For just an instant before the bottles are thrown, a thick, Vaseline-like goo is visible spread all over the car's hood and roof. This is a flammable gel, applied to the car to make the flame-up look more impressive. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos... ruined dreams... this wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called "Max." To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time... when the world was powered by the black fuel... and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now... swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war, and touched off a blaze ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The opening chase sequence jumps straight into the action with the camera pulling out of the V8's supercharger. This scene was originally shot with Max driving past a farm that Wez and others were ransacking, the bodies of the owners hanging dead from a tree. Seeing Max they all ran to their vehicles and gave chase and there were several cars. The camera then panned out of the car's charger to signify a short passage of time and THEN the scene is as we know it with just Wez and two cars still still in pursuit due to the Interceptor's power. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mannequin (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
the best movie Gibson has ever been in
21 December 2004 | by jokeco68See all my reviews

The first time I saw this at a friends recommendation was in 1985 on our brand new VHS vcr. I was absolutely blown away by it at the age of 16 and I still watch every few months on DVD now.I would give anything to see this on a big screen. This movie started a real trend for a lot of real crappy B movies to follow unfortunately and Mel Gibson has called this movie with an apologetic shrug 'classy B-grade trash' which is sad because it would prove to be his best movie by far. What I truly liked about this film was its lack of dialogue and how it was smart enough to let its settings, action and costumes do the talking. Perhaps this is why Gibson didn't have much praise for it because he is merely a representation of the Western gunslinger in the film. I liked how there was a sketchy explanation of how the world got into such an apocalyptic mess and lets the viewer make their own conclusion to that end. It's not important anyways. The lack of ammunition is indicated quickly through the Wez's use of a wrist-strapped crossbow, the very preciousness of gasoline is established quickly as well by Max's anxious mopping up of it and capturing it in a few make-shift items including a dusty soldier's helmet.

The original Mad Max had too much dialogue and proved problematic for the 18 year old Gibson to convey the emotion of losing his family and best friend. It had it's moments but in the end it lost it's impact due to it's own clumsy attempt at trying to establish the family-man Max. The Road Warrior didn't try to attempt any deep characterizations, the pain and suffering was quick and obvious, the need to just survive in this stark world conveyed through a few spoken words and violent actions. George Miller got it right with this one, unfortunately he had to make Mad Max first to get to Mad MaxII and horribly had to make Mad MaxIII.


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