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Mad Max

George Miller
Australia 1979 / 88’

Human settlements teeter in the waning days of a decrepit civilization, police stations and courts still function, but everything seems flimsy in the face of an approaching crime wave. Police Officer Max (Mel Gibson) knows the times of arrests and court hearings is long gone and heads out to face the barbarians in his hearse-black cruiser. George Miller’s classic is not a cyberpunk film in the strict sense. It’s more of a post-apocalyptic Western, but it betrays a fascination with social outcasts and rock’n’roll styling typical of the former genre. However, a fear underpins this fascination and the gang members are not the relaxed hippies from Easy Rider, but the missing links between apes and cave-men, while Max’s leather jacket reflects macho power rather than rebellion.


Australian Film Institute Awards 1979 – Best Achievement in Editing, Best Achievement in Sound, Best Original Music Score; Avoriaz Fantastic FF 1980 – Special Jury Award

George Miller

Australian director George Miller was born in 1945 to Greek immigrant parents. He initially studied medicine, but ultimately devoted himself to film, receiving acclaim and immediate cult status for his debut, Mad Max (1979). This post-apocalyptic Western starring the young Mel Gibson was a smash box-office hit and remains a science fiction classic. Miller followed through with two sequels, Mad Max – Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). He has also directed family films, e.g. Babe: Pig in the City (1988) and Happy Feet (2006), receiving an Oscar for the latter.

Selected filmography

1979 Mad Max

1981 Mad Max 2 – Wojownik szos / Mad Max 2

1985 Mad Max pod Kopułą Gromu / Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

1987 Czarownice z Eastwick / The Witches of Eastwick

1998 Babe – świnka w mieście / Babe: Pig in the City

2006 Happy Feet: Tupot małych stóp / Happy Feet

2011 Happy Feet: Tupot małych stóp 2 / Happy Feet Two

Cast & Crew

director George Miller
screenplay James McCausland, George Miller
cinematography David Eggby
editing Cliff Hayes, Tony Paterson
music Brian May
cast Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, Roger Ward, Lisa Aldenhoven, David Cameron
producer Byron Kennedy
production Kennedy Miller Productions, Crossroads, Mad Max Films
sales Warner
language English
colouration colour