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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 (24 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson
  • Directors: Ted Kotcheff
  • Format: Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Multiple Formats
  • 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 (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009YX8KN8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,494 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

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    24 of 27 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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    1 of 1 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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    1 of 1 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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    5 of 7 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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    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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    3.0 out of 5 stars Watch with a bottle of rubbing alcohol or Bactene. February 6, 2014
    By gespect
    Format:Blu-ray
    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 different drum beat but a beat that's a bit disturbing. Over all it's not a fast paced movie, and the little action is sparse. The filming is good. I think that the acting is fine, and some might say that Donald Pleasence is superb.
    ***There are a few scenes- real filming- of animal cruelty. This film probably sets a stage for a huge philosophical discussion with friends. It will leave you with many questions about whether you 'got' the film's meaning, and only if you are sure about your take will you feel that you know. But the others will be just as 'right'. I feel that it's either dark existentialism or nihilistic. For those of you that saw "The Grifters" and wanted to take a shower after, this will make you want to take a shower and get an inoculation.
    This is not a fun film, this is not a happy film, this is a film about a terrible vacation that is the result of poor judgment. A man says: "You know what? I'm going to walk into a hell- which I do not need- and ruin my life, today."
    My definition of FILM NOIR is different then you usually hear. I say FILM NOIR is: "Nothing will ever come of this." And all main characters will forever be lessoned from the experience. This film is thus: 'film noir'. Many seem to feel that this is a jewel but I feel that it's a contaminated scab.
    But if you're a film buff... well then you probably should watch this.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    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 8 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 9 months ago by R.K.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy movie I ever saw in my life.
    And I have seen a lot of crazy S***. An experience I will never forget. Not to self: Never gamble all my money away in the australian outback.
    Published 9 months ago by Michael A. Biel
    1.0 out of 5 stars CUT VERSION
    I was unaware that this disc was the cut version. Always a disappointment, especially after viewing the film, liking it, but left to wonder. No wonder, the scene was cut. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by ERNESTO
    2.0 out of 5 stars downunder forgetful
    Dust, alcoholism, cruelty, madness. Great photography and direction. Even though, it doesn't rescue this exercise from being meaningless and adrift.
    Published 12 months ago by ilyushin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, very unsual plot
    This held my interest throughout, even though it is an older movie, the location, Australia, was incredible for this type of story. Read more
    Published 12 months ago by Lana OHara
    1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Movie Ever Made!
    Don't go there - you'll never get those two hours back! This movie made me lose the will to live.
    Published 13 months ago by Sam Perry
    1.0 out of 5 stars WakeI in Fright
    I already rated this before. It was a horrible movie. There was no substance at all. Just a bunch of people drinking and killing kangaroos and wandering around in a fog.
    Published 14 months ago by Kathy Gough
    4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Hell
    There's a great old Temptations song that goes "you make your own heaven and hell right here on earth. Read more
    Published 14 months ago by D. Hartley
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