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Australian mining town melodrama

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  • Australian mining town melodrama

    • Trying to identify a film that I remember as black & white - possibly 40's or 50's? - but might be newer.
    • -
      A man arrives to work in an Australian mining town and is driven out to the mines by the manager who behaves in a suspicious hostile manner. It turns out that the manager's wife is a man-eater, the only woman around, and makes a play for our hero but he has been warned about her. The rest is hazy - but this very much mirrors the real-life story of a friend and I would love to identify the film for her.
      Any help appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited by Nick Dando; 5 April 2021, 11:28 AM.

  • #2
    Eureka Stockade (1949)?

    I originally thought of Diamond City (same year), but that was set in South Africa.


    • #3
      "Wake in Fright" has the story of a school teacher (Gary Bond) stuck in an outback mining town where he finds trouble with the oddball locals.
      One of the locals is a nymphomaniac played by Sylvia Kay.
      However this film is from 1971 & is in colour!


      • Shirley Brahms
        Shirley Brahms commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, this is the one I was going to mention, too.

    • #4
      Nickel Queen ?


      • #5
        From an Aussie friend.
        Hope this will help.
        Anyway, please send me a PM .

        The inquirer almost certainly means WAKE IN FRIGHT/OUTBACK (1971) - filmed in
        Australia in 1970 - which is very probably the most devastating and shocking of 'Australian' feature films - though actually made here by Canadian director Ted Kotcheff. The inquirer's short summary of the plot manages to get wrong at least a couple of points: the nymphomaniac 'wife' is actually the daughter of one of the locals, and the film is in colour.

        There is a trailer and a clip or two online. Also, there's a wonderful interview up there with Ted Kotcheff that runs for just under nine minutes:
        The interview is given the title, 'True Story of The Movie WAKE IN FRIGHT succeeding 40 Years Later ...'

        • This film, an Australian masterpiece and my favourite was lost for 30 years, but has recently been remastered and released to the public. A more nihilistic view of
          Australia has never been filmed. John Grant is bonded by the New South Wales Education Department to teach at the lonely outback trainstop of Tiboonda. Desolate and isolated as Australia can be, on holiday after a beer with publican "Charlie", he must overnight in "The Yabba" (a thinly disguised Broken Hill) before travelling onto his girlfriend and the beaches of
          Sydney. However the local policeman, Jock Crawford introduces John to the hellish nature of outback pubs, gambling at two-up and the unrelenting heat. Jock explains to John that one of his few duties is to sort out the suicides. Losing all his money and stranded in town, every one he meets has the same paralysing greeting - "New to the Yabba?". The unedifying, ugly, alcoholic, racist and misogynist nature of 70's outback life is soon apparent to John. His brief meeting with "Doc" during a drunken two-up game presages further developments. When broke he meets Tim who continues to encourage John to drink incessantly. A boozy evening results in a furtive sexual liaison with Tim's daughter Jeanette, completed when John vomits midway through the act. Jack Thompson's character Dick asks "Whats wrong with him - rather talk to a sheila than drink?" Doc turns up at Tim's house, and the alcohol-fuelled debauchery continues. Dick, Doc and half the Yabba have had their way with Jeanette. Drunk to unconsciousness, John awakes the next day in Doc's donga (outback shack without amenities) to be fed beer and fried kangaroo. Doc admits to being an alcoholic doctor of medicine - couldn't survive in
          Sydney, but "out here no-one cares". Doc reveals his sexual appetite is met only by Jeanette - if she was a bloke, she wouldn't be known as a "slut". Then "the boys" from Tim's party the night before arrive to take John on a kangaroo hunting/shooting trip.
          Australia does not get more ugly than this. Doc cuts off the roo's testicles, and they adjourn to a local (outback) pub for more grog before setting out to spotlight the roos after dark. The hunting scenes are real, many kangaroos are killed, one having his throat slit on camera by the boys, then John also gets his chance; in these politically correct times such scenes would never be released.

          Near dawn, they return to the pub, and in a drunken rampage destroy the joint. John ends up back at Doc's donga, and a homosexual encounter is implied. John, full of self-loathing, in the heat whilst hungover wanders into the Yabba with a loaded gun. He runs into Jock, who encourages him to have yet another beer! John attempts to hitch out of town, but after giving away has last dollar, returns again to his personal hell in the Yabba. John ends up back in the donga, pointing his rifle at his temple - and subsequently awakes in hospital.

          Jock presents John with a statement for him to sign about his "accidental" shooting, Doc takes him from hospital to station, and John returns to teaching at the desolate Tiboonda. On the train, he gratefully accepts a beer..... At Tiboonda, Charlie welcomes John home with "Djava good holiday"?......