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Encyclopedia > Wake in Fright
Wake In Fright
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Produced by George Willoughby
Written by Evan Jones
Starring Gary Bond
Donald Pleasence
Chips Rafferty
Music by John Scott
Cinematography Brian West
Editing by United Artists (acquired in early 1971 for world distribution)
Release date(s) 1971
Running time 109 minutes
Country  Australia
Language English
Budget AUD$800 000
IMDb profile

Wake in Fright (also known as Outback) is a 1971 Australian film directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence and Chips Rafferty. The screenplay was by Evan Jones, based on Kenneth Cook’s 1961 novel of the same name. Ted Kotcheff (sometimes credited as William Kotcheff or William T. Kotcheff; born April 7, 1931 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a Bulgarian-Canadian film and television director, who is well known for his work on several high-profile British television productions and as a director of films such as First... Donald Henry Pleasence, OBE (October 5, 1919 – February 2, 1995) was an English stage and film actor. ... Chips Rafferty, born John William Goffage in Broken Hill, NSW, on 26th March, 1909, was an Australian Actor. ... This article is about the film studio. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... See also: 1970 in film 1971 1972 in film 1970s in film years in film film // Events February 8 - Bob Dylans hour long documentary film, Eat the Document, premieres at New Yorks Academy of Music. ... Ned Kelly depicted in the first ever feature-length narrative film The cinema of Australia has a long history and has produced many internationally-recognized films, actors and filmmakers. ... Ted Kotcheff (sometimes credited as William Kotcheff or William T. Kotcheff; born April 7, 1931 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a Bulgarian-Canadian film and television director, who is well known for his work on several high-profile British television productions and as a director of films such as First... Donald Henry Pleasence, OBE (October 5, 1919 – February 2, 1995) was an English stage and film actor. ... Chips Rafferty, born John William Goffage in Broken Hill, NSW, on 26th March, 1909, was an Australian Actor. ... Kenneth Cook (1929-1987) was an Australian journalist, film director, script writer and novelist best known for his works Wake in Fright and the Killer Koala trilogy. ... See also: 1960 in literature, other events of 1961, 1962 in literature, list of years in literature. ...


Made on a budget of AUD$800 000, the movie was an Australian/American co-production by NLT Productions and Group W. Wake in Fright details the story of John Grant, an English school teacher, stranded in a hostile town in outback Australia. ISO 4217 Code AUD User(s) Australia 6 countries and territories Kiribati Nauru Tuvalu Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Norfolk Island Inflation 4. ... For other uses, see Outback (disambiguation). ...


Since its release Wake In Fright has developed a reputation as Australia’s great lost film as its unavailability on video or DVD and its absence from television screens has meant that it has been little seen since its release.

Contents

Plot

John Grant is a teacher at a school in a small, remote town in the Australian outback. At the start of school holidays he plans to travel to Sydney to visit his girlfriend. To do so, Grant must journey to the nearby mining town of Bundanyabba (known as “The Yabba”) to catch his flight. This article is about the metropolitan area in Australia. ...


At The Yabba, Grant meets some locals, including a policeman, Jock (Chips Raffetry), who strongly suggest he drinks beer non-stop to fit in, and introduces Grant to the local Two-up competition. Grant has a winning streak before losing all his money. Unable to leave The Yabba, Grant finds himself sucked into town’s hard drinking mentality and is forced to stay at the shack of a local alcoholic doctor, Tydon (Donald Pleasence). Two-up is a traditional Australian gambling game. ...


Grant goes out drinking with other Yabba locals and meets Jannette (Sylvia Kay), a young woman. While the two talk, the other men question Grant’s sexuality, asking “What’s the matter with him? He’d rather talk to a woman than drink beer.” Jannette then initiates an awkward sexual encounter between the two before John leaves.


Later, John goes on a drunken kangaroo shoot with Dick (Jack Thompson) and Joe (Peter Whittle) , where he enjoys gruesomely killing kangaroos. At the end of the night, John returns to Doc Tydon’s shack where Tydon initiates a homosexual encounter between the two. Jack Thompson AM (born August 31, 1940) is an Australian actor and one of the major figures of Australian cinema. ...


A repulsed John leaves Doc’s house and, after stumbling through the outback, attempts suicide. Following his recovery from his suicide attempt, John returns to Tiboonda for the new semester.


Cast

Wake in Fright was Chips Rafferty's final film appearance
  • Gary Bond as John Grant
  • Donald Pleasence as Doc Tydon
  • Chips Rafferty as Jock Crawford
  • Sylvia Kay as Janette Hynes
  • John Meillon as Charlie
  • Jack Thompson as Dick
  • Peter Whittle as Joe
  • Al Thomas as Tim Hynes
  • Dawn Lake as Joyce

John Meillon John Meillon as the Mayor in the 1974 Peter Weir film The Cars That Ate Paris John Meillon (born 1 May 1934 and died 11 August 1989 in Mosman, Sydney,Australia) was an actor, most widely known for his role as Walter Reilly in the films Crocodile Dundee... Jack Thompson AM (born August 31, 1940) is an Australian actor and one of the major figures of Australian cinema. ... Dawn Lake (January 20, 1927 - January 1, 2006) was an Australian TV comedienne, singer, entertainer and actor. ...

Production

A film version of the 1961 Kenneth Cook novel Wake in Fright was first connected to Dirk Bogarde and Joseph Losey in 1963. Morris West later secured film rights and unsuccessfully tried to raise funding for the film. Eventually the rights were bought by NLT and Group W. Canadian Ted Kotcheff was recruited to direct the film. At the time of production, Kotcheff had directed two films, the 1962 Tiara Tahiti and 1969s Two Men Sharing. Following Wake In Fright, Kotcheff would continue to have a successful career as a director, including The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1973), Fun with Dick and Jane (1977), First Blood (1982) and Weekend at Bernie's (1988). Sir Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde (28 March 1921 â€“ 8 May 1999), better known by his stage name Dirk Bogarde, was an actor and author. ... Joseph Losey (January 14, 1909 - June 22, 1984) was an American theater and film director. ... Morris West Morris L. West (April 26, 1916 - October 9, 1999) was an Australian writer. ... The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is a 1974 Canadian comedy-drama film based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Mordecai Richler. ... Fun with Dick and Jane is a 1977 romantic comedy film starring George Segal and Jane Fonda as an upper-middle class couple who turn to crime. ... For the David Morrell novel, see First Blood (book). ... Weekend at Bernies is a comedic American motion picture released in 1989. ...


Shooting began in January 1970, in Broken Hill, New South Wales (the area that inspired Cook for the setting of his book) with interiors shot in February at the Ajax Studios in Bondi, Sydney. Broken Hill Post Office Broken Hill is an isolated mining city and Local Government Area (see City of Broken Hill) in the far west of outback New South Wales, Australia, with a population of 21,000. ... Bondi is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. ...


Response

Wake in Fright had its world premiere (as Outback) at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1971. Ted Kotcheff was nominated for a Golden Palm Award. The film opened in France on 22 July 1971, Great Britain on 29 October 1971, Australia in October 1971 and the United States on 20 February 1972. The Cannes Film Festival (French: le Festival de Cannes), founded in 1939, is one of the worlds oldest, most influential and prestigious film festivals. ... The Palme dOr (Golden Palm) is the name of the highest prize given to a film at the Cannes Film Festival. ...


Wake In Fright received generally excellent reviews throughout the world and found a good public response in France (where it ran for five months) and Britain. However, despite unanimous critical support in Australia, Wake in Fright suffered poor domestic box office returns. While there were complaints that the film’s distributors United Artists failed to promote the film successfully, it was also thought that Wake In Fright was “perhaps too uncomfortably direct and uncompromising to draw large Australian audiences”.


Recent reviews of Wake in Fright include 3 stars (out of four) from Leonard Maltin’s 2006 Movie Guide and McFarlane, in The Oxford Companion to Australian Film, claiming it to be “almost uniquely unsettling in the history of new Australian Cinema” Leonard Maltin (born December 18, 1950 in New York City) is a widely known and respected American film critic. ...


Controversy

In addition to the brutal realism, the scenes involving the kangaroo hunt that John participates in disturbed some viewers. The scene included graphic footage of an actual kangaroo cull. A disclaimer stated that the kangaroos were not killed specifically for the movie, but rather by licensed professionals during a licensed cull and that “the scenes were included with approval of leading animal welfare organizations in Australia and the United Kingdom”. Species Macropus rufus Macropus giganteus Macropus fuliginosus Macropus antilopinus A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning large foot). In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, the Red Kangaroo, the Antilopine Kangaroo, and the Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroo...


Influence

Wake in Fright is now seen by critics as one of the best films produced in Australia, influencing recent films such as Wolf Creek, as well as arguably Crocodile Dundee. While Crocodile Dundee was a light hearted comedy, the imagery of pitting human against the unforgiving Australian outback is very similar to that of Wake in Fright. Wolf Creek is a 2005 Australian horror film, written, co-produced and directed by Greg McLean. ... Crocodile Dundee is a 1986 Australian comedy film set in the Australian Outback in the area around Walkabout Creek and in New York City. ...


Home video versions

As of January 2008 Wake in Fright has not been released in video or DVD format.


For many years the only known print of Wake In Fright, found in Dublin in the 1990s, was of insufficient quality to transfer to DVD or video. In reaction to this, in 1994, Wake in Fright’s editor Anthony Buckley began to search for a better quality print of the film. In 2004, in Pittsburgh, Buckley found a print of Wake in Fright in a shipping container labelled “For destruction”. For other uses, see Dublin (disambiguation). ... City nickname: The Steel City Location in the state of Pennsylvania Founded 1758 Mayor Tom Murphy (Dem) Area  - Total  - Water 151. ...


References

  • Adams, B & Shirley, G. (1983) Australian Cinema: The First Eighty Years, Angus and Robertson, ISBN 0312061269
  • Greenwood, P. (2006) Wake in Fright, Murdoch University, [wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/ReadingRoom/film/dbase/2006/wake.doc]. Accessed 15 January 2007.
  • McFarlane, B. (1999) The Oxford Companion to Australian Film, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, Melbourne. ISBN13: 978-0-19-553797-0
  • Maddox, G. (2004) "Treasure, not trash: classic found in US", The Sydney Morning Herald, p 13, 16 October 2004.
  • Maltin, L. (2006) Leonard Maltin’s 2006 Movie Guide, Signet, ISBN 0451216091.
  • Pike, A. & Cooper, R. (1998) Australian Film 1900 – 1977, Oxford University Press, Melbourne. ISBN 0 19 550784 3
  • Williamson, G. (2006) “The Forum”, The Australian, p. 5, 30 December 2006.
  • Zion, L. (20006) "DVD Letterbox", The Australian, p. 25, 29 July 2006.

External links

  • Wake In Fright at the National Film and Sound Archive

 
 

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