Mad Max (1979) Poster



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  • After a high speed car chase which a psychotic criminal called Nightrider is killed, Max Rockatansky, a police officer and loving husband and father learns that Nightrider's motorcycle gang, now led by the evil Toecutter, are out and are bent on vengeance upon the man responsible for Night Rider's death. However, after the Toecutter and his gang brutally rape a couple and Max's partner Jim Goose arrests one of the gangs member Johnny the Boy whom is released due to lack of witnesses, Toecutter and the gang ambush Jim Goose and set him on fire. Distraught, Max decides to turn in his badge and resigns. However, whilst Max is on holiday with his wife Jesse and their son Sprog, tragedy befalls as Toecutter and the gang murder Sprog and leave Jesse comatose. Max snaps. Succumbing to madness, Max puts on his uniform, loads up his sewn-off shotgun and drives off in a police car with authorization to go after Toecutter and the gang for his revenge. Edit

  • Basically no, but there is one version with two audio differences; the first being the original Australian accented soundtrack and the second being the American dubbed soundtrack.

    Apart from dubbing the entire movie because Americans might find Australian accents difficult to understand, "Mad Max" in North America was completely the same cut. The original Australian dialogue soundtrack was released for the North American DVD premiere in 2000. Edit

  • "A FEW YEARS FROM NOW..." but a specific year is never mentioned and so the exact year is left ambiguous, with signs of society breaking down. The film was influenced by fuel shortages in Australia in the mid-1970s due to the 1973 OPEC Oil Crisis, which led to several violent incidents throughout the country. Edit

  • No. It's an original story by director George Miller and his writing team. However, it's believed Miller did base it on riots that took place in 1970s Australia over fuel shortages and the muscle car culture that was popular back then. Edit

  • The UK theatrical version was cut in one scene. This version was used for the old VHS by Warner from 1986. All other VHS and DVD releases are uncut. Approx. 50 seconds are missing in this version. Edit

  • The title could have a double-meaning, some viewers interpret Max as Mad-angry, while others find he is mad-crazy. Both interpretations could be correct. Throughout the film Max tells his boss that he feels that he needs to quit the Main Force Patrol (the "Bronze") because he thinks he's starting to enjoy the carnage and mayhem that the job entails. Max feels if that happens, he's gone "terminal crazy" and is no better than the criminals. At the end of the film, after his wife and son are run down, Max snaps and seeks revenge on the Toecutter gang. After dispatching everyone in the gang, he handcuffs Johnny the Boy's ankle to a wrecked vehicle with a leaking gas tank, he then sets up a fuse, and gives Johnny a hack saw, telling him he can try cutting through the chain or cut through his ankle. Johnny screams at Max, calling him a bloody mad man. Max has officially cracked and may not recover from his new psychosis. Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • Yes and no, Max's boss mentions that "Goose bought it." The doctor originally caring for Jesse explains her problems to the new oncoming doctor: "Multiple traumas, spleen, liver, lung, flail chest, left neck of femur, renal shutdown." The new doctor asks if she is salvageable, the first doc says: "Yeah, sure, we got all her signs back last night." What happened to Jesse is never established, but the doctor who first cared for her sounded sure she would recover. Edit

  • Nightrider probably experienced an acute onset of depression because he'd finally met an opponent who might catch him or matched him for driving ability. Also, he probably felt he couldn't escape. It actually adds another element of humor to the scene.

    It is also likely that he was relying on his reckless nature as an advantage to outmaneuver the police. Along comes an officer who beats him in a game of chicken, and who is also driving a patrol car that can catch up to the one he is driving from a dead stop, and he knows that he isn't likely to get out of this alive. Max' wife mentions that he has been on the news several times, it is also possible that Nightrider recognized the notorious Max in his rearview mirror. Barring all else, Nightrider is shown to be quite psychologically unstable, screaming like a lunatic in nearly every shot in which he appears. Merely losing the game of chicken may have been enough to damage his fragile psyche to that degree.

    Nightrider also describes himself as "a fuel-injected suicide machine" - he's apparently high as a kite on speed or meth. That can cause dramatic shifts in emotions, taking him from delirious aggressive joy to tears in rapid succession. Edit

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