Mad Max
Release: April 12, 1979

This stunning, post-apocalyptic action thriller from director George Miller stars Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky, a motorcycle policeman in the near future who is tired of his job. Since the apocalypse, the lengthy, desolate stretches of highway in the Australian outback have become bloodstained battlegrounds. Max has seen too many innocents and fellow officers murdered by the bomb's savage offspring, bestial marauding bikers for whom killing, rape, and looting is a way of life. He just wants to retire and spend time with his wife and son but lets his boss talk him into taking a peaceful vacation and he starts to reconsider. Then his world is shattered as a gang led by the evil Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) murders his family in retaliation for the death of one of its members. Dead inside, Max straps on his helmet and climbs into a souped-up V8 racing machine to seek his bloody revenge. Despite an obviously low budget and a plot reminiscent of many spaghetti Westerns, Mad Max is tremendously exciting, thanks to some of the most spectacular road stunts ever put on film. Cinematographer David Eggby and stunt coordinator Grant Page did some of their best work under Miller's direction and crafted a gritty, gripping thrill ride which spawned two sequels, numerous imitations, and made Mel Gibson an international star. One sequence, in which a man is chained to a car and must cut off a limb before the machine explodes is one of the most tense scenes of the decade. The American version dubbed all the voices — including Gibson's — in a particularly cartoonish manner. Trivia buffs should note that Max's car is a 1973 Ford Falcon GT Coupe with a 300 bhp 351C V8 engine, customized with the front end of a Ford Fairmont and other modifications.

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Junior Doctor: "What do you reckon?"
Senior Doctor: "[about Jessie's condition] I'm a doctor, not a fortuneteller."
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Toecutter: "[to Johnny the Boy] The Bronze, they keep you from being proud."
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Toecutter: "Bubba. Johnny. [huffs]"
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Mudguts: "[as Toecutter is harassing Jessie] Watch the tongue, lovable, I've seen him lick his own eyebrow clean!"
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Starbuck: "[watching Jessie get out of her car with Sprog] Look what's turned up for Sunday dinner."
Mudguts: "Main course and dessert!"
Starbuck: "And my favorite kind... female!"
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Goose: "Hey, Midge, don't write off the Goose until you see the box going into the hole."
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Goose: "You've seen it!... You've heard it!... and you're still asking questions?"
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Bubba Zanetti: "Johnny the Boy has done it again. This time it's a scrubber. He's never gonna learn."
Toecutter: "But we are going to teach him, Bubba. You are going back for him."
Bubba Zanetti: "No way! Not me, not for him!"
Toecutter: "But it's not for him. It's for me, Bubba. [whistles]"
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Grease Rat: "[Max returns to the garage to question Greast Rat about the Toecutter and his gang] Bubba Zanetti, is that? You come for the grunt? She won't be ready until this afternoon. Still having trouble with the front forks. They're mongrels to work with. [Max pulls Grease Rat out from under the car] You asshole! What the moly fuck you think you're doing?"
Max: "You and me are gonna talk about the Toecutter."
Grease Rat: "Never heard of him [Max pushes Grease Rat back under the car, hitting his head] What the Christ are you?"
Max: "I wanna know about the tattoo."
Grease Rat: "I mind my own business, don't I? I mean, they'll kill me, won't they? [Max turns a lever and the car collapses on Grease Rat crushing him. Max turns the lever and raises the car and pulls Grease Rat out from under the car. Grease Rat coughs. Max grabs him]"
Max: "I'll say the names, and you say "yes" or "no". Nightrider... [Grease Rat nods his head] Toecutter, Bubba Zanetti."
Grease Rat: "Yes"
Max: "There's more?"
Grease Rat: "Johnny."
Max: "Johnny the boy?"
Grease Rat: "Yeah. Some others."
Max: "Where?"
Grease Rat: "Out at the beaches, looking for fuel."
Max: "Are they coming back?"
Grease Rat: "I don't know. They gotta get their bikes. For Christ's Sake! I don't know."
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Grease Rat: "Like the sign says, "speed's just a question of money. How fast you wanna go?""
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Roop: "Main force Patrol. Were out of the game unable to continue pursuit. You better send a Meat Truck. Charlie's copped a saucepan in the throat."
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Roop: "That scag and his floozie, they're gonna die!"
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Fifi: "That Code you ran down a few days ago."
Max: "The Nightrider?"
Fifi: "The Nightrider, yeah. Got a problem."
Max: "What's that?"
Fifi: "His friends. Word is they're out to get you."
Max: "Scoot jockeys?"
Fifi: "Yeah, nomad trash."
Max: "Well, I'll add it to my threat collection."
Fifi: "Good boy, Max. You're a good boy."
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Charlie: "We're still mobile."
Roop: "For Christ's sake, shove over!"
Charlie: "You're blaspheming again. I don't have to work with a blasphemer."
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Max: "[to old woman] I think we've got some hoon trouble..."
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Ziggy: "[about Cundalini's hand] I figure it's lost property. If no one makes a claim to it, I say we can forget it."
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Nightrider: "The Toecutter - he knows who I am. I am the Nightrider! I am the chosen one. The mighty hand of vengeance, sent down to strike the unroadworthy! I'm hotter than a rollin' dice. Step right up, chum, and watch the kid lay down a rubber road, right to FREEDOM!"
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Fifi: "People don't believe in heroes anymore."
Labatouche: "I know McCaffee, you want to give them back their heroes. You will not try this one on me again, I do not enjoy wasting money. Goodbye and good luck."
Fifi: "Thanks Labatouche, you're a real human being."
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Bubba Zanetti: "[Cundalini and Mudguts molest a female mannequin; to Toecutter] Joviality is a game of children."
Toecutter: "[Toecutter fires shotgun into the air] Mudguts, get out of there. Cundalini, put her against the post. [indicating mannequin] We have a problem here. She... is not... what she seems. Bubba Zanetti has it on good authority. She's sent by the bronze. Full of treachery. The bronze... take our pride. [Bubba takes aim at the mannequin with a pistol. Suddenly Johnny grabs the Toecutter's shotgun and blasts her]"
Johnny the Boy: "[kneeling in front] If you're going to waste the bronze, you gotta do it big!"
Bubba Zanetti: "You just don't have the style, do ya. Chickenshit."
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Goose: "It was like slow motion. He leaves his seat and goes through the windshield, headfirst straight into the tree, right? And then bounces back through the windshield. And by the time we got to him, he was just sitting there, trying to scream with his face ripped off. [pause] What's the matter?"
Restaurant Patron: "Not hungry anymore."
Goose: "Give it here."
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