Wake in Fright

Wake in Fright

Ted Kotcheff (1970)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Missing for over 30 years, this startling outback odyssey is a breathtaking experience. It has been acclaimed as the Aussie Deliverance, though it preceded John Boorman's 1972 hillbilly horror by a couple of years. Gary Bond stars as John Grant, a frustrated young teacher working in the middle of nowhere who's desperate to get home to Sydney for Christmas. However, a stopover in remote mining town Bundanyabba ("The Yabba") soon plunges the scholarly Grant into the gambling, carousing and drinking culture that passes for everyday life there. His rapid descent into blokeish hedonism is a shocking one, accompanied as it is by an underlying air of menace and a seething intensity, which reaches breaking point during a drunken (and real-life) kangaroo hunt. Canadian director Ted Kotcheff (First Blood) has produced a memorably scathing critique of machismo (the Aussie brand, in particular) and is blessed with vivid turns from well-known antipodean actors like Chips Rafferty, John Meillon and Jack Thompson. However, it's Donald Pleasence as an alcoholic doctor-cum-bar-room philosopher who's a revelation here, proving what a fine actor he could be when not shackled to the Halloween franchise.


A teacher accepts a new position in the Australian outback, but discovers his new home is populated almost exclusively by amoral, primitive thugs. He soon finds himself drawn into the existence and losing all sense of his moral values. Thriller, starring Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty and Sylvia Kay.

Cast & Crew

"Doc" Tydon Donald Pleasence
John Grant Gary Bond
Jock Crawford Chips Rafferty
Janette Hynes Sylvia Kay
Dick Jack Thompson
Joe Peter Whittle
Tim Hynes Al Thomas
Charlie John Meillon
Director Ted Kotcheff
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Eureka EntertainmentGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes, nudity, scenes of kangaroo hunting and slaughterAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 7 Mar 2014