Wake in Fright (18)

Film

Drama

Wake in Fright

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Mar 4

This nightmarish vision of Aussie manhood from 1971 has been described by Nick Cave as the ‘best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence’. It was adapted from Kenneth Cook’s searing outback novel by Evan Jones, a Jamaican scriptwriter who had never set foot in Australia, and Ted Kotcheff, a Canadian-born son of Bulgarian immigrants. In the fierce, sweaty heat of a remote Australian mining town, school teacher John Grant (Gary Bond) stumbles into a personal hell of drunkenness, gambling and enforced blokiness. ‘What’s a matter with him?’ asks one of his new buddies. ‘Rather talk to a woman than drink?’

Stranded in Bundayabba (‘The Yabba’ to the fiercely proud locals), Grant is led astray by chummy local copper Jock Crawford (Chips Rafferty) and nihilistic alcoholic ‘Doc’ Tydon, played with insidious, Pinter-like malice by the inimitable Donald Pleasence. Even before the notorious scenes of senseless kangaroo slaughter and dismemberment, the Aussie myth of mateship has been shot down, gutted and chopped into pieces. Hallucinatory images from this bleak, brutish 1971 film still have the power to sear the eyes and disorientate the mind.

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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Mar 7, 2014

Duration:

108 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Ted Kotcheff

Cast:

Al Thomas, Peter Whittle, Jack Thompson, Sylvia Kay, Chips Rafferty, Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence, John Meillon

Music:

John Scott

Art Director:

Dennis Gentle

Editor:

Anthony Buckley

Cinematography:

Brian West

Screenwriter:

Evan Jones

Producer:

George Willoughby

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|12
2 people listening
Paul M

Teriffic film, imaginatively shot: superbly captures an alienated, lurid, grotesque side of boorish macho Aussie male 'mateship' which lures and debases wet liberal teacher John Grant. A cautionary tale of where men can end up without a rudder in debasing social circumstances. Not a good ad for Australia, but perhaps illuminates a dark side. Certainly one of the top three Australian films - go see!  

Buster H

For my mind, a close second to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in the Aussie film landscape... ;o)

Buster H

For my mind, a close second to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in the Aussie film landscape... ;o)

Anthony

The re-release was greeted rapturously by a packed house at the Nova in Melbourne last night. I predict very few Australian moviegoers will agree with you Renee

Anthony

The re-release was greeted rapturously by a packed house at the Nova in Melbourne last night. I predict very few Australian moviegoers will agree with you Renee

renee b

mMethinks Chris needs to see more Australian movies if he/she thinks this 'the best Australian film ever made'. I've seen the dvd release due out June 09. It's not shot well. The acting is more like a first year drama school read-through than the best takes. And the script does not penetrate any part of the Australian outback psyche at all. Wake In Fright is a film that holds up a mirror to itself - and a very accurate one I might add. I nearly Walked In Fright - from the cinema.

Chris

Methinks it is the author of this astonishing review who is sadly confused. For anyone who has actually spent time in the Australian outback, the film strikes right at the heart. It remains to my mind the best Australian film ever made; it holds up a brutal mirror to the unpleasant side of Australian men, producing a reflection a lot of people can't handle. The good news is that the fully digitised DVD release will be in June 2009. Make up your own minds; I suspect that having seen it most people will find this person's jaded review a little pompous.

Chris

Methinks it is the author of this astonishing review who is sadly confused. For anyone who has actually spent time in the Australian outback, the film strikes right at the heart. It remains to my mind the best Australian film ever made; it holds up a brutal mirror to the unpleasant side of Australian men, producing a reflection a lot of people can't handle. The good news is that the fully digitised DVD release will be in June 2009. Make up your own minds; I suspect that having seen it most people will find this person's jaded review a little pompous.

royden irvine

A hard realistic/symbolic adventure with European sensibility in the Australian outback. A great Australian film. A knockout. beware!

royden irvine

A hard realistic/symbolic adventure with European sensibility in the Australian outback. A great Australian film. A knockout. beware!