We all love the aura that surrounds a long lost film. We love the idea that something is existing out there, untouched by human eyes and waiting in the shadows for someone to discover. The thought of this wets our appetites and intrigues us greatly. Our interest grows further when we discover that this long lost film is described as being beautifully calibrated in a “..visually, dramatically, atmospherically and psychologically..” pleasing way by Martin Scorcese. The trouble is that lost films are rarely found; thankfully, Wake in Fright does not conform to this.
The film depicts a teachers descent in to madness while being confined to the outback. It is highly regarded enough to receive a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and the story of how it was discovered again is no less than remarkable.
After years of searching, Tony Buckley, the films editor, tracked it down to a warehouse where it was distributed across two large boxes both labelled, ‘FOR DESTRUCTION’. If he had arrived any later, the film would of been destroyed in a mass clear out – the man is a hero!
It is worth noting that the film also premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 1971. Do you need any more reasons to go and check this out? I will give you one anyway – Donald Pleasance is in it.