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Wake in Fright

1h 48m Drama, Thriller 1971

“In Ted Kotcheff’s gruelling adaptation of Kenneth Cook’s 1961 novel, a teacher’s trip to paradise ends up as a descent into the hell that is the Australian outback. Rarely has there been such a gut-wrenching demolition of Aussie mateship and the bonding rituals that go with it.” - Tom Ryan, Sunday Age review

Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, 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. But his one night stretches to five and he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left…

Believed lost for many years, Wake in Fright has been painstakingly restored by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe, and is presented in its original uncompromising form.

For more information on the film, the Director’s Statement and the history of the restoration, see here:


Ted Kotcheff


Evan Jones







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