6.9/10
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53 user 25 critic

A Cry in the Dark (1988)

Evil Angels (original title)
A mother whose child was killed in a dingo attack in the Australian Outback fights to prove her innocence when she is accused of murder.

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Writers:

John Bryson (novel), Robert Caswell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Lindy
Sam Neill ... Michael
Dale Reeves Dale Reeves ... Aidan, 6 years
David Hoflin ... Aidan, 8 years
Jason Reason Jason Reason ... Aidan, 11 years
Michael Wetter Michael Wetter ... Reagan, 4 years
Kane Barton Kane Barton ... Reagan, 6 years
Trent Roberts Trent Roberts ... Reagan, 9 years
Lauren Shepherd Lauren Shepherd ... Azaria
Bethany Ann Prickett Bethany Ann Prickett ... Azaria
Alison O'Connell Alison O'Connell ... Azaria
Aliza Dason Aliza Dason ... Azaria
Jane Coker Jane Coker ... Kahlia, new born
Rae-Leigh Henson Rae-Leigh Henson ... Kahlia, 18 months
Nicolette Minster ... Kahlia, 4 years
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Storyline

Based on the true story of Lindy Chamberlain. During a camping trip to Ayers Rock in outback Australia, she claimed that she witnessed a dingo stealing her baby daughter, Azaria, from the family tent. Azaria's body was never found. Police noted some apparent inconsistencies in her story, and she was charged with murder. The case attracted a lot of attention, turning an investigation into a media circus, with the public divided in their opinions. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A family torn apart. A public filled with outrage. A woman accused of murder. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Evil Angels See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,561,793, 13 November 1988

Gross USA:

$6,908,797

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,908,797
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Lindy Chamberlain refers to a case in which expert testimony wrongly sent three boys to prison. She's referring to the 1972 murder of Maxwell Confait in southeast London. Confait, 26, was strangled, and the building in which he lived was burned down. Eighteen-year-old Colin Lattimore, 15-year-old Ronnie Leighton, and 14-year-old Ahmet Salih were arrested and charged with murder and arson. All three had alibis, but three prominent forensic pathologists testified to the time of death. One, Dr. Cameron, changed his mind on the stand, and said Confait could have died at a time when the boys were not covered by their alibis. The boys were convicted and sentenced to prison. Two years later, the convictions were overturned. It turned out that Confait had been dead for more than 48 hours before the fire, and the forensic pathologists were wrong about the fire speeding up the on-set of rigor mortis. In 1980, Douglas Franklin was found to be the true murderer. See more »

Goofs

In the end credits, the movie's copyright year is 1988. In Roman numerals, it would be MCMLXXXVIII. Instead, the year is MCMLXXXIII, 1983. See more »

Quotes

Cliff Murchison: Was that Michael's brother?
Lindy Chamberlain: Can you believe it, the rumours are in New Zealand already!
Cliff Murchison: A lie goes 'round the world while truth's still putting its boots on, sweetheart.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 28 Days (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
apparently, you can't be a Seventh Day Adventist in a media-centric society
22 June 2006 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

When I first saw "A Cry in the Dark", I had no idea what the plot was. But when I saw it, I was shocked at what it portrayed. When I saw it a second time in an Australian Cinema class, I realized a second point: communication issues. You see, when a dingo snatched Lindy Chamberlain's (Meryl Streep) baby, she and her husband Michael (Sam Neill) were grief-stricken but didn't show it. As Seventh Day Adventists, they believed that God willed this to happen, and so they couldn't mourn it. But when people all over Australia saw their lack of sadness, everyone started believing that Lindy did it herself.

The point is, the wrong message got communicated to the public, and it turned people against Lindy. Even though this was a pure accident, it still happened. It may be one of the biggest disasters resulting from the existence of mass media, regardless of any media outlet's political views.

As for the performances, Streep does a very good job with an Australian accent (no surprise there), and Sam Neill is equally great. You will probably get blown away just by what you see here. Definitely one of Fred Schepisi's best movies ever.


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