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Wake in Fright R CC

3.7 out of 5 stars (39) IMDb 7.8/10

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.

Starring:
Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond
Runtime:
1 hour, 48 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Ted Kotcheff
Starring Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond
Supporting actors Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson, Peter Whittle, Al Thomas, John Meillon, John Armstrong, Slim DeGrey, Maggie Dence, Norm Erskine, Owen Moase, John Dalleen, Buster Fiddess, Tex Foote, Colin Hughes, Jacko Jackson, Nancy Knudsen, Dawn Lake
Studio Image Entertainment
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Not everyone's cup of tea. But if you're daring enough and tolerant enough. The hardest part of this viewing is the kangaroo scene. Pleasence is the silver lining in this immense eccentric cinema piece. If anything I recommend a rental if you have a remote interest in this outback journey into madness.
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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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