S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Wake in Fright [Blu-ray]
(Ted Kotcheff, 1971)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: NLT Productions
Video: Madman Video / Image Entertainment / Masters of Cinema -Spine # 88
Region: FREE! /Region 'A' / Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:48:54.083 /1:48:54.083 / 1:48:48.458
Disc Size: 23,355,363,484 bytes /22,637,651,208 bytes / 41,332,438,402 bytes
Feature Size: 19,194,605,568 bytes /17,506,885,632 bytes / 33,389,573,568 bytes
Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps /19.98 Mbps / 34.99 Mbps
Chapters: 12 /12 / 9
Case: Standard Blu-ray case (Transparent for MoC)
Release date: June 27th, 2010 /January 15th, 2013 / March 31st, 2014
Video (same on all 3):
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
/ DN -4dB
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps /
None / English, none / English, none
• Audio Commentary with director Ted Kotcheff and editor Anthony
• Chips Rafferty Obituary by Ken G. Hall (3:42)
• TV Spot: ABC's 7:30 Report - Rediscovery and Restoration of the film (6:40)
• Restoration Comparison (1:57)
• Deleted Scenes From the 2008 documentary, Not Quite Hollywood (6:09)
• Teaser Trailer / Madman Promos
• 32 liner notes pages Booklet
• Audio Commentary with director Ted Kotcheff and editor Anthony Buckley
•To Yabba and Back - Interview with Director Kotcheff (12:45)
• Q+A with Kotcheff at the 2009 TIFF (45:51)
• TV Spot: Who Needs Art? (1971) - segment on Wake In Fright (6:00)
• Chip Rafferty's Obituary (3:19)
• TV Spot: ABC's 7:30 Report on the Rediscovery and Restoration of the Film (6:24)
• Trailer (2:00) and other trailers
•Feature length audio commentary with director Ted Kotcheff and editor Anthony Buckley
• Video interview from 2009 with Ted Kotcheff (23:16)
• ABC s 7:30 Report video piece on the the rediscovery and restoration of the film (6:35)
• Who Needs Art? vintage piece on Wake in Fright (5:36)
• Chips Rafferty obituary clip (3:28)
• Outback TV spot (:34)
• UK theatrical trailer (1:43)
• 48-PAGE BOOKLET featuring essays by Adrian Martin, Peter Galvin, Meg Labrum, Graham Shirley, Ted Kotcheff and Anthony Buckley, and archival imagery.
Sweat, Dust and Beer... There's Nothing Else Out Here
Wake in Fright tells the story of a young school
teacher who descends into a personal hell after finding
himself stranded in a brutal, menacing town in outback
John Grant (Gary Bond) is a fledgling, middle-class teacher from the big
city. He feels disgruntled because of the onerous terms of a financial
bond which he signed with the government in return for receiving a
tertiary education. The bond has caused him to be posted to a tiny
school at Tiboonda -- a remote fly-speck situated in the arid Australian
outback. It is the start of the Christmas school holidays, and Grant
plans to journey to Sydney to visit his girlfriend and surf at the
beach. But first, he must travel by train to the nearby mining town of
Bundanyabba (known as “The Yabba”) in order to catch a Sydney-bound
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Wake in Fright is kind of a hidden gem in that was thought lost but the restoration and subsequent digital releases have given it exposure to a new, appreciative, audience. This may not look 'perfect' on Blu-ray in modern-film-transfer terms but for a 40-year old piece of clandestine cinema, of its nature, and with its history - it looks very good. Any softness is consistent and seems inherent in the print source but there are some impressive moments of detail. There a green cast over a lot of the film and it's not distracting but worth noting. This is only single-layered with a bitrate in the mid-twenties so some noise is occasionally prevalent. It looks quite smooth but never glossy but there are some cases of blown out brightness - again probably inherent in the film's original cinematography. Having never seen the film prior to this viewing - I'd have to guess that this is a remarkable presentation - quite clean although don't expect any depth or brilliant colors.
Foolish of me to match so many screen captures as this is the same D1 source as evidenced by the running time (to the 1000th of a second). The Image does have a slightly lesser bitrate and may me marginally softer - but this is almost imperceptible on a standard viewing level. It is from the same restoration and the video comments above hold true.
Masters of Cinema give us the most robust transfer dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. I need to peer quite close but it shows up in background artifacts - more prevalent on the other two 1080P transfer. This is the one you would project and the best video rendering of the three.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
No boost going on here - its a flat 2.0 channel track pushing dialogue, crowd noises and some gunplay. I like the authenticity but fans who indulge for their Surround systems will, obviously, be left empty handed with Wake in Fright. Without a lossless audio rendering nothing is notably crisp or has demonstrative range or depth. A linear PCM track would have been the choice here. The track may have had restoration as well as it is without heavy flaws. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles offered but the Aussie accents aren't disagreeably thick and I didn't have any instances where I couldn't interpret the dialogue.My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Same audio - still not lossless, but the Image Entertainment has optional English subtitles and is region 'A'-locked.
Masters of Cinema also improve upon the sound with a linear PCM 2.0 channel at a solid 2304 kbps. Both other audio transfers were standard Dolby and this uncompressed quality is significantly superior. It is that much crisper and connotes some mood-influencing bass depth. MoC offer optional English subtitles on their region 'B'-locked disc.
There are some solid extra here - nice to see the effort has been put in with a commentary by director Ted Kotcheff and editor Anthony Buckley, a 25-minute interview with Kotcheff , some older TV Spots (a dozen minutes), a restoration comparison, deleted scenes, old trailers and a nice 32 liner notes pages booklet. NOTE: Extras played on my region 'A'-locked Oppo.
Mostly the same extras - same commentary, an interview, an interesting and lengthy Q+A at TIFF. TV Spot on restoration and the Who Needs Art? (1971) piece. No significant differences.
Masters of Cinema jump ahead with most of the extras of both other releases and then some. They include the same feature length audio commentary with director Ted Kotcheff and editor Anthony Buckley as found on both other releases plus the 23-minute, 2009, Kotcheff interview available on the Madman Video Blu-ray. The ABC 7:30 Report video piece on the the rediscovery and restoration of the film running 6.5 minutes was on both previous releases - as was the 5.5-minute Who Needs Art? vintage piece on Wake in Fright. Chips Rafferty short obituary clip was also on both and the UK label adds and Outback TV spot and UK theatrical trailer. But their biggest bonus is the 48-page booklet featuring essays by Adrian Martin, Peter Galvin, Meg Labrum, Graham Shirley, Ted Kotcheff and Anthony Buckley, and archival imagery. Being Dual-Format this also has a DVD included with the feature and all the supplements of theBlu-ray.
Madman Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Image Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-rayRIGHT
Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
This is a film that tends to grow on you - and get better - with subsequent viewings. Nice to see Image Entertainment have made it more accessible for North American audiences. Certainly worthy of any digital library.
Bona-fide classic and now with the upgraded video and audio we have the definitive HD edition from our friends at The Masters of Cinema. Also this package has the best cover and most valuable extras with the booklet! Certainly recommended!
April 24th, 2010
January 1st, 2013
March 5th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze