Skip to schedule and film credits
Acclaimed upon its debut at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival and long thought lost, Canadian director Ted Kotcheff's raw, uncompromising and controversial vision of life in a hellish town in the Australian Outback returns in a painstaking digital restoration.
After being assigned to a tiny school in a remote township in the Australian Outback, middle-class teacher John Grant (Gary Bond) is desperate to return to Sydney for the Christmas holidays. Forced to stop off at a rough and tumble mining town called Bundanyabba (known colloquially as "The Yabba") en route to catching his flight home, Grant is coerced into drinking and gambling away all his cash. Broke, homeless and unable to leave "The Yabba," Grant is drawn further and further into the brawling, hard-drinking lifestyle of the town's residents (played by such noted actors as Donald Pleasence, Jack Thompson, and Australian screen legend Chips Rafferty), straining his already fraying nerves — and mind — to the breaking point. Brutal, uncompromising and controversial, Canadian director Ted Kotcheff's (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz) adaptation of Kenneth Cook's 1961 novel was met with critical acclaim upon its debut at the 1971 Cannes film festival but subsequently fell out of sight, its unavailability on VHS, DVD or TV earning it a reputation as the great "lost film" of the Australian New Wave. Painstakingly restored in 2009 and selected by Martin Scorsese to screen as a Cannes Classic at that year's festival, Wake in Fright is "powerful, genuinely shocking and rather amazing.... raw and uncompromised, well-acted, brilliantly photographed and edited.... It's rare to find a film that goes for broke and says to hell with the consequences" (Roger Ebert, (Chicago Sun-Times().
PLEASE NOTE: THIS FILM CONTAINS DISTURBING SCENES. VIEWER DISCRETION IS STRONGLY ADVISED.