Wake in Fright

Indoor Screening

A&I Hall
Friday 22 January 2021 | 8.30 pm

Australia | 1971 | 109 mins
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Jack Thompson, Chips Rafferty
Rated: M

After finishing up the school term in a remote outback town, teacher John Grant (Gary Bond) looks forward to spending his holiday with his girlfriend in Sydney. But John gets waylaid in a mining town where a gambling spree leaves him completely broke.

He quickly falls in with the hard-drinking locals, who constantly ply him with alcohol and force him to participate in a gruesome kangaroo hunt. Disgusted, John tries to hitchhike out of town and, when that fails, begins to contemplate suicide. Also stars Chips Rafferty, Donald Pleasence and Jack Thompson.

Filmed on location in Broken Hill and Sydney, Wake in Fright is an Australian/US co-production and alongside Walkabout, is one of two Australian films that were nominated for the Grand Prix du Festival at the 24th Cannes Film Festival.

By the 1990s Wake in Fright had developed a cult reputation as Australia’s great ‘lost film’ because its master negative had gone missing.

After the original film and sound elements were rescued by editor Anthony Buckley in 2004 the film was digitally remastered and given a 2009 re-release at Cannes and in Australian theatres to widespread acclaim.

The Bangalow Film Festival is proud to present the restored version of Wake in Fright and to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary.

It’s simultaneously terrifying and hilarious, a full-on shotgun blast to the face of rediscovered 1970s weirdness, something like finding out that there’s a classic Peckinpah film you’ve never seen, or that Wes Craven and Bernardo Bertolucci got drunk in Sydney one weekend and decided to make a movie together.