Wake in Fright / Outback (1971, Ted Kotcheff) long-lost negative discovered!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gordon McMurphy, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...&oneclick=true

    www.imdb.com/title/tt0067541

    I have searched the Net (including Australian DVD stores) trying to find out if a DVD is in the works, but I can't find anything. United Artists distributed the film back in 1971, but I guess that the rights reverted to the producer years ago. I have longed to see this film for years. Synapse are releasing the superb, Long Weekend this year, a film with a similar theme, set in Australia. In case you don't know, Kotcheff directed First Blood.

    Does anyone know anything about this film or possible DVD release.
     
  2. seanJ

    seanJ Agent

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    I`ve never seen "Outback" though I think it may have aired on UK tv once upon a time..... which is how I saw "Long Weekend" an atmospheric piece which I`d like to see again.

    Dvd releases of both would be most welcome.

    Regards
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Hi, Sean. There's an excellent region 4 PAL DVD of Long Weekend that has a good anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer and an informative audio commentary by the producer Richard Brennan and the cinematographer Vincent Monton and an audio-only interview with the late John Hargreaves, star of the film. Available from Ezy DVD (direct link to the Long Weekend listing)

    Synapse Films in the USA are releasing the film on September 27th with the same spec, but it will have a new high-defination 1080p sourced transfer and remixed Dolby 5.1 track in addition to the original mono mix. More info HERE.

    The UK TV airing of Wake in Fright / Outback was probably sourced from the battered print discovered in Dublin, Ireland in the early 90s. This print is too poor to use as a source for a DVD transfer. Now that the original camera negative has been recovered, the film really ought to be released in selected cinemas and given a special edition DVD. The film has been called "the Australian Straw Dogs" and "the best Australian film ever made", so it would be great to see if it lives up to the hype.

    Cheers, Sean!
     
  4. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    I am in touch with the right owner,as I spoke to him in legth about the fil on the phone with him, and he then emailed me the nhistory of how he tracked down the negatives, so if I have any updates, will certainly post, thought I was the only one in America who remembers this film!
     
  5. Mike Heenan

    Mike Heenan Second Unit

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    Can someone post that article as you have to register to see it. also would be interesting to hear the story of how the materials were found.
     
  6. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Sorry, Mike, here's the article:

     
  7. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Walter, that is amazing! Could you possibly post the email that the rights holder sent you? Who is the holder by the way? Are they in touch with any DVD distributor?

    Here are some suitable distributors that you could pass on to the rights holder, if you wish:

    Anchor Bay
    suggestions@anchorbayent.com

    Blue Underground
    info@blue-underground.com

    Synapse Films
    www.synapse-films.com/contact.htm
    Phone: (248) 374-3254
    Fax: (248) 374-3256

    Image Entertainment
    acquisitions@image-entertainment.com

    Criterion
    www.criterionco.com/asp/ask_form.asp

    Home Vision Entertainment
    license@homevision.com
     
  8. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    60 cans of film? That almost sounds like they found the trim negatives to the film, not the actual conformed negative used to make the theatrical prints. The comment that they "hope the cans will yield enough for a new negative" suggests that they might try and reconstruct the film using alternate takes, which has been done before (THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARK was restored this way, until an actual print of the original version was found years later). Could be interesting- I'm guessing they'll use the battered print found in Europe as a guide to find the closest alternate takes if this is what they plan to do.

    Of course I'm just speculating and they could have the actual conformed negative, but 60 cans sounds like an awful lot for a conformed negative.

    Vincent
     
  9. seanJ

    seanJ Agent

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    Gordon

    Thanks for the info re "Long Weekend", I`ll make a point of seeking out this dvd, it`ll be especially interesting to see this in it`s originally intended widescreen ratio.

    It must be 20 years since I saw this movie on tv, but it lingers in the memory, like many Australian movies of the `70s.

    Hears hoping that something can be done with "Outback" as well.

    Regards
     
  10. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Gordon,

    I don't know if I can post his email to me in a public forum without his permission? I left him a messege on his phone, he is out until the 24th, maybe I can PM the letter to you instead. I gave a screener OUTBACK to a small new DVD label last year, but they weren't interested in at all ("too Criterion for me" the owner said), I have given it to another label couple of month ago, and awaiting thier reply (neither of them are the ones you mentioned).

    Please let me know.
     
  11. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  12. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Any word on a DVD release, Walter?

    Cheers.
     
  13. Joe Wong

    Joe Wong Second Unit

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    Wake in Fright is one of the most harrowing films I have ever seen...I saw it on a late Friday night on TV when I was a teenager in Sydney. It is so exhausting that when it ends, it's a wonderful relief...

    Joe
     
  14. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Just came across this thread and was interested to learn that the negative has been found. I saw the film when it first opened in London under the title Outback. I thought it a fascinating and unusual film and and have always wondered why it had virtually disappeared. Thanks for the info.
     
  15. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    keep up the good work so that this will be released one day
     
  16. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    walter o wrote:



    I'm gonna go WAY out on a limb and guess that one of those labels was Shriek Show/Media Blasters...

    Vincent
     
  17. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Nope, why, should I ask them? It isn't a horror film.
     
  18. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    The film often gets labelled as a 'horror' film. It would be like calling Straw Dogs a horror film. Wake in Fright is a waking nightmare. Also, think of Kotcheff's style in First Blood - it is intensely physical and relentless.

    The sooner it is re-released in cinemas and/or on DVD and is reappraised, the better.
     
  19. GregoryMesh

    GregoryMesh Supporting Actor

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    2 studios I see this film releasing are Blue Underground (they releases a few critically acclaimed Australian films recently) or Synapse (they just releases Australian thriller/horror Long Weekend).
     
  20. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    GregoryMesh, wrote:

    Isn't that what I said?! [​IMG]
     

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