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

Donald Pleasence , Gary Bond , Ted Kotcheff  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 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: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009YX8KN8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,888 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

    3.6 out of 5 stars
    (31)
    3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    25 of 28 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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    2 of 2 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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    6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome January 22, 2013
    Format:Blu-ray
    This film (set in the Australian Outback) is at once an hallucinatory nightmare and intensely realistic - so bizarre and yet utterly believable. The acting is very fine - everyone disappears into their roles, and the cinematography and montage are excellent. Donald Pleasance is especially good as the crazy old doctor. The climax is unbelievably intense. If you are a member of PETA you will not be able to watch the final Kangaroo hunt sequence.

    Highest recommendation!
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating. April 6, 2014
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    A really great movie that withstands the test of time; It's kind of like an Australian version of "Deliverance," minus the sodomy.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, very unsual plot April 9, 2013
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    This held my interest throughout, even though it is an older movie, the location, Australia, was incredible for this type of story. It is living a structed life, and getting sidetracked and going to opposite direction, and what it will do to head down a road to ruin...
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    very good
    Published 4 hours 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 17 days 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 20 days 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 1 month 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 1 month ago by Sandra L. Christenbery
    4.0 out of 5 stars Beer! Lots of Beer!
    The Australian film society dug this gem up and remastered it. It was worth the effort.

    Here's the scoop. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Eric Sanberg
    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 2 months ago by Chris M. (H)
    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 5 months ago by gespect
    5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous film from the very early days of the Aussie New Wave
    This film floored me and my wife. 1971 was the very early stirrings of what would become known as the Australian New Wave in cinema, and this film is certainly a very worthy... Read more
    Published 12 months ago by Kingo Gondo
    3.0 out of 5 stars It Was Okay
    This is a depiction of how a decent, normal man can go over the edge if he is isolated from decent people and hangs out with people that think brutality is normal. Read more
    Published 12 months ago by R.K.
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