Network Ten forced to change ‘Wake in Fright’ trailer

21 September, 2017 by Don Groves

‘Wake in Fright’. 

Network Ten has removed a quote from Martin Scorsese from the trailer for Wake in Fright, a contemporary interpretation of Kenneth Cook’s 1961 novel.


The US director’s quote “It left me speechless” was lifted from his remarks after a restored print of Canadian director Ted Kotcheff’s movie based on the novel  was screened in Cannes in 2009.

Scorsese saw the psychological thriller when it premiered in Cannes in 1971, describing it as a “deeply — and I mean deeply — unsettling and disturbing movie.”

This week the law firm for the Wake in Fright Trust committee fired off a letter to Ten’s legal department asking for the quote to be removed.

Ten agreed to do so, substituting a quote from The Age: “A stunning Australian drama.”

A spokesman acknowledged Scorsese’s quote refers to the 1971 film, telling IF, “We apologise for any confusion that use of this quote might have caused. We look forward to introducing Wake in Fright to a new generation of fans in October.”

Directed by Kriv Stenders and scripted by Stephen M Irwin, the two-part drama stars Sean Keenan (Glitch, Puberty Blues) as John Grant, a young schoolteacher who gets stranded in Outback town where his living nightmare begins.

David Wenham plays Sergeant Jock Crawford, who was played by Chips Rafferty in the movie in what turned out to be his final role. The cast also includes Caren Pistorius, Alex Dimitriades and Gary Sweet.

The drama is produced by Lingo Pictures’ Helen Bowden and Kristian Moliere in association with Endemol Shine Australia, with backing from Screen Australia and Screen NSW.

When the broadcaster commissioned the show head of drama Rick Maier said: “There are few Australian stories as original or compelling as Wake in Fright. Kenneth Cook’s novel, now re-imagined for a new generation, deals with the biggest themes. Provocative, morally complex and brilliantly realised, this classic story is guaranteed to stay with you long into the night and – possibly – for years to come.”