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Wake in Fright (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (1971)

Donald Pleasence , Gary Bond , Ted Kotcheff  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson
  • Directors: Ted Kotcheff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2013
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009YX8KN8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,710 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with director Ted Kotcheff and editor Anthony Buckley
  • To the ‘Yabba and Back…’ featurette by Not Quite Hollywood Director Mark Hartley
  • Q&A with Kotcheff at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival
  • ’ABC’s 7:30 Report’ on the rediscovery and restoration of the film
  • Who Needs Art?: Vintage segment on Wake in Fright
  • Chips Rafferty obituary
  • Theatrical trailers
  • 28-page booklet

  • Editorial Reviews

    Includes SRM Free Digital Download

    Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, WAKE IN FRIGHT is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba, planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But, as his one night stretches to five, he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left... Believed lost for many years, WAKE IN FRIGHT has been painstakingly restored by Australia's National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe, and is presented in its original uncompromising form.


    Customer Reviews

    3.7 out of 5 stars
    (33)
    3.7 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A restored masterpiece August 10, 2010
    By Smyslov
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    I came across a description of this film a while ago which made it sound like an overwrought B Picture, a format to accurately represent the world it depicts - melodramatic, crude and brash. It is much more than that. From the opening 360' panning shot around the tiny wooden platform of an Australian outback station, taking in two shabby and rusting buildings dwarfed by an endless vista of red sand, to the brilliant portraits of a range of characters who inhabit this barren and malevolent landscape, it constantly surprises and delights with visual power and human complexity. It is no surprise to discover that the underlying material on which the film is based, a novel by Kenneth Cook, was to have been a project for Dirk Bogarde and Joseph Losey at one point in its development. The film ended in the extremely capable hands of Ted Kotcheff and screenwriter Evan Jones and is beautifully constructed and paced. There is throughout a sense of threat and a sustained tension, but the tensions are those that exist within the central character and which this environment magnifies into threats - they are never simply imposed in a mechanistic fashion. Apparently the film was initially very well received, being lauded at the Cannes Film Festival and achieving some degree of commercial success in certain markets, but in Australia it was seen understandably as a fierce critique of the country and its dominant ethos at a sensitive time and so it disappeared seemingly for ever. The DVD is the result of a long search by the original editor who managed to unearth cans of footage in a warehouse in Philadelphia after many years of fruitless effort - and we should all be extremely grateful to him for preserving and restoring such an important and seminal work of the Australian New Wave.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Letting Go in the Outback February 10, 2014
    By Troy F.
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    Wonderful little film about escaping to the Outback. I don't want to give anything away as I had only heard a little about this film and saw a few clips before buying it blind. It wasn't what I expected but I still very much enjoyed it. I got the impression about it's history as being a bit controversial but didn't find anything really objectionable about it or it's portrayal of the Outback or Australia. It's was a fun and yet dramatic thought-provoking film about one man's vacation letting go. Of course, if hunting bothers you, you might want to skip that part. All in all, a great little Aussie film. Nice print with plenty of extras about this film. Kudos to Image and Drafthouse Films.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars vacation plans derailed... June 8, 2013
    Format:Blu-ray
    Wake In Fright (1971) is an edgy and occasionally violent drama, set in Australia, that follows a school teacher's bizarre journey into a world, where fueled by alcohol, his inhibitions are lowered, and his darker nature emerges. Recognized at the time of its release as a significant contributor to Australian cinema, this interesting and thought provoking film, originally titled "Outback", had somehow become lost for many years, until a print was fortunately discovered. The restored movie, then became the source for this Bluray release.

    John Grant (Gary Bond) is a teacher in the small town of Tiboonda, a dusty speck located somewhere deep in outback country. On holiday for the summer, he takes a train to the city of Bundanyabba, planning to stay for the night, before heading to Sydney. While drinking in a tavern, the teacher is befriended by Jock Crawford (Chips Rafferty) the local constable, and soon finds himself drawn to the town's major source of entertainment, gambling. Initially a big winner, Grant's fortune reverses, and he finds himself flat broke, and dependent on the kindness of strangers.

    With few options, Grant ends up at the home of a local, and after a night of heavy drinking, awakens in the cabin of Doc Tydon (Donald Pleasance). Joined by two other locals, the four men drive off into the bush to hunt kangaroos. In some memorable stomach turning scenes, kangaroos are brutally gunned down, and the wounded animals are then maimed or killed. Graphic footage from an actual kangaroo hunt is featured, and watching the helpless animals being massacred, is not a pleasant experience.

    Constantly drinking to excess, a frequently inebriated Grant, finds himself swept along by circumstances, into participating in some barbaric acts.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Beer! Lots of Beer! May 31, 2014
    Format:DVD
    The Australian film society dug this gem up and remastered it. It was worth the effort.

    Here's the scoop. John Grant (Gary Bond) is a teacher in a bust-out town in the Australian Outback. He heads out for his six week summer vacation to Sydney. The town he stops in on his way to the airport proves to get the better of him and he spirals down into a pit of filth and degradation.

    This is a rough ride. The group of guys he befriends, including an alcoholic ex-doctor (Donald Pleasence) don't seem to have much to do so they drink, drink, drink, hunt kangaroo and fight. This is an ugly existence. It's a barren, ugly landscape and the people mirror it. The kangaroo hunting scene made me uncomfortable. These were not special effects. They were really shooting these creatures. There was also a homo-erotic shade to parts of this. And given that it was made in 1971 that was some pretty heavy stuff. But the characters make this movie. This is a world apart. If you don't have money they will buy you a beer knowing you will reciprocate when things turn around. They might also take offense if you don't let them buy you a beer. These are some strange folk.

    The acting is very good. It was a hoot seeing a young Jack Thompson. It took me a bit to recognize him. Also, this was pre-"Halloween" Donald Pleasence. He was trim and much more physical back then.Ted Kotcheff helmed this outing. A couple of the scenes were a bit heavy handed but most of it was spot on. The soundtrack is also of note. One of the more interesting I've ever heard in a film.

    As much as I might know film, this one never crossed my radar. I'm glad it's been reconditioned and released. It's a must see for any film buff.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, 'how to become human' movie and my all ...
    First saw this in 1972 when it was named 'The Outback'. Terrific, 'how to become human' movie and my all time favorite, if only because my situation at the time paralleled that of... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by User 0
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great product
    Published 2 months ago by Musicc Lover
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    very good
    Published 2 months ago by Rita Hernandez
    5.0 out of 5 stars Never on cable
    One great flick loved the way it was shot. If your an animal lover this flick will make you sick.
    Published 3 months ago by J. Buettler
    4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting view into the apparent high water mark for native ...
    Interesting view into the apparent high water mark for native Australian cinema. The protagonist's is a bit too precipitous for belief, but I don't think it would have taken much... Read more
    Published 3 months ago by scarlet pimple
    5.0 out of 5 stars I Stayed Awake!
    This is truly a memorable film! You don't need No Doz to get through viewing this one! Well Done! Bravo!
    Published 3 months ago by Philip Moreau
    1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but beer guzzling nonsense!
    My husband I watched this until we couldn't stand it anymore. A lot of drinking and screaming the entire movie! Also too much animal cruelty which makes it hard to stomach.
    Published 4 months ago by Sandra L. Christenbery
    1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
    Wow. This has to be one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time. It was recommended by many people/sites but I can't figure out why. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Chris M. (H)
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating.
    A really great movie that withstands the test of time; It's kind of like an Australian version of "Deliverance," minus the sodomy.
    Published 6 months ago by anonymous
    3.0 out of 5 stars Watch with a bottle of rubbing alcohol or Bactene.
    I'm having a little trouble giving this 3 stars but I think many of you, that will look at this, will be avant gaurde viewers; You find acceptance for a movie set to -not just- a... Read more
    Published 8 months ago by gespect
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