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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 band of bandits.

Director:

George Miller

Writers:

Terry Hayes (screenplay by), George Miller (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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2,039 ( 239)
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:

When all that's left is one last chance, pray that he's still out there ... somewhere! 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

According to George Miller, some of the film's violence was inspired by A Clockwork Orange (1971). See more »

Goofs

After Max rolls his car, Toadie checks the tanks and declares them full. He then opens the cap and a thin stream of liquid pours out. In the next shot of Toadie, the liquid quickly slows to a dribble and then stops altogether. 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 initial US release redid the main title with a lightning bolt design to read "THE ROAD WARRIOR" as opposed to "MAD MAX 2". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Face Off: Guitar Gods (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One helluva film!
12 June 2005 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

Studio executives today could use a film like this one, or its predecessor right about now. The Mad Max films were thrown together with great skill on absolutely shoestring budgets and made a king's ransom in profits. Nowadays we just seem to get one big-budget failure after another, as the box office slump now extends into its fourteenth week.

Mad Max 2 (or The Road Warrior, as it is commonly called here in the USA) is an extraordinary sight to behold. The story centers on a loner (Mel Gibson) who roams the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Australia in search of gasoline so he can... I guess just keep driving. He is a man who lost his wife and child to a murderous gang of bikers in the previous film. He seems to be without a soul, or any feeling for his fellow man. One day he corners a man who tells him about a refining community besieged by a gang of ruthless outlaws. Thirsty for the large amount of fuel this community has, Max barters his way inside. To his dismay, the community has no plans to let him just take the fuel and run. They use him to provide them with a vehicle "big enough to haul that fat tank of gas", and by the climax of the film, he is driving the fuel through a gang of about fifty or more savages looking to take it for themselves. Max never really endears himself to anyone, but you can feel the humanity within him as he volunteers to drive the tanker. After just surviving a horrendous accident he can barely walk, but he knows he's their only chance.

This film is absolutely breathtaking. The characters we meet inside the walls of the refining community are stubborn and resourceful, but just not strong enough to deal with "that vermin on machines" waiting outside for them. The vicious gang holding the community hostage are a motley crew of desperadoes. Many are dressed like WWE combatants. Some are even dressed in MFP uniforms similar to what Max and his fellow officers wore in part one. Are they former cops gone bad, or did they murder the cops to get the uniforms? We are never told. The script refers to these men as "GAYBOY BERSERKERS". The various motorcycles, hot rods, and trucks used in the film have to be seen to be believed. Maybe more fuel-efficient vehicles would be a better idea for a world so short on fuel! But these souped-up vehicles make for some great chase scenes! You have to hand it to the stunt men who worked on this film. With no CGI to do the work for them, many of them were putting their lives at risk each day. Both stunt team leaders Max Aspin and Guy Norris were severely injured during filming. Aspin was driving the car that went airborne after we see the driver shot in the back with the four-way arrow gun. I believe he suffered a concussion when it landed just short of the fortress wall. Norris shattered his ankle after being launched off a motorcycle and sent flying through the air in one spectacular shot during the final chase scene.

The film has a great soundtrack, as well by Brian May. (Not the guy from Queen) Not too many lines are spoken throughout the film, but so what? This is a film about action, and it's a treat to watch it any time. The Hound will give it 10 of 10 stars. What a way to introduce American moviegoers to Mel Gibson!!


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