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Wake in Fright [Blu-ray]

3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Import only Blu-Ray/Region All pressing. In 1960's Australia, John Grant (Gary Bond), is an Education Department bonded teacher at a tiny outback school. Making his way to Sydney for the holidays, John takes the train but stops overnight in Bundayabba. Drawn into the 'Yabba's' culture of drinking and gambling, he becomes embroiled in the locals' insular and threatening world. The film's return to the screen is one that is almost as harsh as the Australian outback. The original negatives were lost, found, preserved, digitally restored and remastered by Atlab, the National Film and Sound Archive and Soundfirm over a period of years under the creative supervision of the film's editor Tony Buckley. This is a wonderful film that connects on many levels and is filled with truths. It also reflects a real slice of the Australian Meat Pie.

Product Details

  • Actors: Donald Pleasence, Jack Thompson, John Meillon, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty
  • Directors: Ted Kotcheff
  • Producers: Wake in Fright (1971) ( Outback ), Wake in Fright (1971), Outback
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Run Time: 92.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002P8KOQU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,820 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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 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: 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: 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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