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CINÉTFO: FALL FAVOURITES: Wake in Fright (1971) ★★★★


The value of money or the dreadful end of alcohol abuse has never been so visible like in Wake in Fright. And it doesn’t really matter if you’re a teacher, student, or one of the smartest people in the world. If you end up in the company of full of crazy, drunk and violent men, like it happened with John Grant (Gary Bond), there is always one end – the end you will chose for yourself.

After a bad gambling bet, out of money and a bad company, a Tiboonda teacher, John ends up in the company of forcibly tuned men, whose life contain alcohol, abuse, and kangaroo hunt they’re so much fond of. And now, our hero must face the biggest challenge in his life: to become like them or turn his way back to Tiboonda. By the time he realizes the importance of the question and its answer, he will find himself right there where his new friends expect him to be.

Wake in Fright is probably one of those films that are quite hard to direct. However, Ted Kotcheff (First Blood, Law & Order) does it an amazingly flawless way, capturing all the madness a single man can face if he is in the wrong place at the wrong time. The opening scene of the film looks very promising where John is about to leave Tiboonda for Sydney, but good or bad, ends up somewhere else. However, John’s issue begins when he gets involved in gambling. As it usually happens, after the first big win, human nature does not know how to stop. John does exactly what most people would have done, and puts all his money to win a bigger prize and free himself of teaching and the godforsaken place, Tiboonda. But a second later, he loses everything.

Kotcheff’s film examines in the straightest way possible human nature, its madness, and the consequences it may lead everyone to. It shows there is no simple minded game that can bring you fortune. However, every fortune has its own price. But in the case of Weak in Fright it’s a man’s life. The most shocking scene in the film is a kangaroo hunt scene, which I am sure will haunt you even after you’ve watched the film. The performance entire cast delivers deserves a special applause. The entire film is something that will leave you speechless, the way it did to me. It’s shocking, frighteningly true, and the most realistic film ever made about the beast that’s locked inside of humans you would not want to release….

Schedule: December 21st, Saturday, 9 PM

Starting September 28, 2015, TFO will have a brand new website offering an ever-expanding selection of subtitled movies to watch free of charge.

Discover TFO`s complete programming at

New web platform: TFO.ORG

About CinéTFO

CinéTFO is broadcast Monday to Sunday at 9 pm with two movies (9 pm and 11 pm) on Saturdays. CinéTFO opens a window on the world, broadcasting commercial-free contemporary films, restored classics, prestigious international festival entries, French cinema and World cinema, always in the original language and subtitled in French.

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