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Wake in Fright [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009YX8LG4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,345 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Blu-ray
It's no wonder that its such a controversial figure in Australia. It doesn't exactly depict the outback with any lightness of touch, instead opting to place to English teacher lead in a situation of increasingly aggressive hospitality. A situation that leads him down a rabbit hole of beer and hunting, and even though that may not sound too bad its framed in a way that is more in key with a horror film. Especially with the horrifying, unflinching Kangaroo Hunt. Editing and score are the great icons of this. Early on the score is simple and jaunty, but as Grant gets deeper into the Yabba, music gets more and more disjointed and discordant. Echoing his situation. With a career high from Donald Pleasence, this is an uncomfortable, hard to watch and unpleasant film but also one where its impossible to peel your eyes away from the screen.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A teacher, stuck in an out~backwater school goes to Sydney for the Christmas holidays. At least that's the plan, but unfortunately he stops over in the town of Bundanyabba (A.K.A. The Yabba for short) and never quite makes it. Unfortunately fate plays him a bum note and he ends up spending his time, coerced by the locals, into some sort of existential self discovery into his own heart of darkness, during some regrettable lost weekend.
Will the locals accept him? And if so, can he escape their acceptance, and then accept what he learns about himself along the way..?

This is an absolute cracker it really is, just a joy from start to finish. Yes, at times it's uncomfortable viewing, with unsettling characters, and even more unsettling sequences. But don't be put off by that, because it's overall message (at least for me) is one of discovery, understanding and enlightenment.
Which all makes a film about beer drinking and kangaroo hunting sound very high brow doesn't it? But just watch it and hopefully you'll see what I mean.
The acting is extremely good from all concerned, some of which is delivered by none actors, especially during the gambling sequence, which just makes it all the more impressive for it.
On a final note it maybe worth mentioning that the 'kangaroo hunting' contained may upset some viewers.

The Masters of Cinema Blu Ray looked spot on to me, with several short documentaries as extras and a commentary track.

5/5
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Format: Blu-ray
Wake in Fright was initially released in 1971 and is back with us after a 40 year absence and promises to be one of the more worthy and delightful releases of the year, arriving straight after the Oscars hoopla has been and gone. In its first incarnation, was nominated for a Palme D'Or, had a sub titled long run in a cinema in Paris, then sat undiscovered in an archive for years, and was at one time going to be destroyed. Scorsese is but one of its famous fans and it would appeal to Scorsese's sense of the beautiful and brutal in male chauvinism. It is a film that both compounds the cultural clichés of its native land, rebukes them and not surprisingly was and is controversial in being an honest and true account of the nastier elements of Australian culture - right down to the depiction of an actual kangaroo killing spree, just when 'Skippy' was one of the nation's much treasured exports.
The film is adapted from the book of the same name, a critically acclaimed bestselling novel by Kenneth Cook, with a foreword (and forewarning…), "you may dream of the devil and wake in fright."
Its central protagonist, John Grant (played by Gary Bond who looks like a brown eyed, young Peter O Toole) suffers immeasurably, descending into madness as the menfolk who surround him show him the delights of 'The Yabba.' A wide panning shot of Tiboonda - the one school, arid and heat caked location shows the life for John to escape from, bound for Sydney with a one night stop off at Bundanyabba, where his money is lost on a gambling turn for the worst.
Throughout the film there are flashbacks to a better life, a beautiful girl, a creature given the iconographic stature of a bond femme fatale coming out of the waves of a glorious beach to kiss her man.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
...and the best I've seen since Walkabout. A genuinely haunting mood piece with deep social leanings and a distinct ugliness no other film can be compared with. Masterfully directed and acted and some of the most effective editing I have ever seen. Top-class cinematography and a beautifully mysterious score. Way ahead of its time.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
My film collection is fairly varied and quite deep but for some reason this was one of those 'what is that?' films I came across whilst browsing youtube. I watched a rubbish 360p version, spellbound quite simply by the power of realism. It's amazing how little reality is actually in films or how little of it you accept until you see something like this. It is utterly mesmerizing despite it being a depiction of hell for a character you initially have little sympathy for.

Anyway, no point spoiling the minimal plot as such but just buy it if you like to watch something raw and stripped back. It's plot is a simple as the people it portrays but yet captivating. I read Donald Pleasance never watched his films. He really should have given this one a go.

Obviously the film was made in 1971 so don't expect something that looks like Cloud Atlas from the Blu Ray but it's probably as good as it gets given the source. Nothing wrong with it all just don't think you'll be getting a Kubrick style transfer or anything.
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