Mad Max | Chicago Reader

Mad Max

George Miller's 1980 Australian film suggests Richard Lester and Roger Corman collaborating on a remake of Walking Tall. Max (Mel Gibson), a highway patrolman in a desolate future, is roused to action when a highly stylized motorcycle gang attacks his wife and child. The film's imagery is wild and its editing pace frenetic, though unlike its better-known sequel The Road Warrior it takes some time out for character development, giving the violent action a semblance of motivation. Miller's work has been compared to Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, but where the Leone films are about amorality, the Mad Max movies are purely and simply amoral—some of the most determinedly formalist filmmaking this side of Michael Snow. With Joanne Samuel.



  • George Miller


  • Mel Gibson
  • Joanne Samuel
  • Hugh Keays-Byrne
  • Steve Bisley
  • Roger Ward
  • Vincent Gil
  • Tim Burns
  • Geoff Parry
  • Paul Johnstone
  • John Ley
  • Jonathan Hardy
  • Sheila Florence


  • James McCausland
  • George Miller


  • Byron Kennedy
  • Bill Miller

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