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The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2 (original title)
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In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich community escape a horde of bandits.

Director:

George Miller

Writers:

Terry Hayes (screenplay by), George Miller (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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1,792 ( 506)
8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Max
Bruce Spence ... The Gyro Captain
Michael Preston ... Pappagallo (as Mike Preston)
Max Phipps ... The Toadie
Vernon Wells ... Wez
Kjell Nilsson ... The Humungus
Emil Minty ... The Feral Kid
Virginia Hey ... Warrior Woman
William Zappa ... Zetta
Arkie Whiteley Arkie Whiteley ... The Captain's Girl
Steve J. Spears Steve J. Spears ... Mechanic
Syd Heylen Syd Heylen ... Curmudgeon
Moira Claux Moira Claux ... Big Rebecca
David Downer David Downer ... Nathan
David Slingsby David Slingsby ... Quiet Man
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Storyline

A former Australian policeman now living in the post-apocalyptic Australian outback as a warrior agrees to help a community of survivors living in a gasoline refinery to defend them and their gasoline supplies from evil barbarian warriors. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When all that's left is one last chance, pray that he's still out there ... somewhere! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

AUD 847,220 (Australia), 31 December 1981, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,527,864, 23 May 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,465,371
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints) (as Dolby Stereo)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Max's car was modified from the first movie. The most obvious change is the large gas tanks in the back. See more »

Goofs

During the final chase, a Ford Fairlane with police lights on the roof gets firebombed by the guards on the tanker. For just an instant before the bottles are thrown, a thick, Vaseline-like goo is visible spread all over the car's hood and roof. This is a flammable gel, applied to the car to make the flame-up look more impressive. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos... ruined dreams... this wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called "Max." To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time... when the world was powered by the black fuel... and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now... swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war, and touched off a blaze ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1984, the film made its US network television debut on NBC in a version that has been referred to by fans as the 'Lost Version'. It contained a great deal of alternate and deleted material that has never been in any other officially released version of the film. This footage is spread out over the entirety of the film and amounts mostly to small scene extensions and the use of alternate takes in order to tone down the film's violence. The most striking difference however, is a totally different narrator (one with an American accent) being heard in the film's opening and closing scenes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Half in the Bag: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Classic Action Film...
21 July 2008 | by shortyragsSee all my reviews

For those who have not seen any of the Max Max films, do yourself a favor and get to your local rental store. Max Max 2 or The Road Warrior as released in the United States, is undoubtedly one of the greatest action films I have ever seen. Starring a young Mel Gibson, who plays the title character, Max, this film is practically at the pinnacle of action films, surpassed only by a few select others. But moving on, this movie quite simply rocks! The setting is a post-apocalyptic world where fuel is hard to come by and so is human life, for that matter. Max, having moved on from tragedy in the first film, (you really shouldn't be reading this if you haven't seen the first one) has now become a Road Warrior, wandering the desert landscapes aimlessly. He eventually finds a small, surviving settlement with a surplus of fuel. However, the town is repeatedly terrorized by a gang of outlaw motorcyclists, led by Lord Humungus. Through a series of staggering events, Max becomes involved with the town's efforts to finally rid themselves of the biker gang. The performances are good enough to propel the film forward and Mel Gibson does a great job reprising the role he made famous in the first installment. The embittered Max and the hopefuls in the town play well off each other and bring dramatic character interaction, uncommon for many present action films.

But of course, the film's scenes of brilliance arrive in the form of its action sequences. The action is choreographed well and Max is unrelenting as are the members of the biker gang. The ending sequence is one of the most memorable action portions I have ever seen in any film, past or present. The music played throughout balances and abets the action sequences, adding a furious intensity. Even scenes with the motorcycle gang feature hard-metal rock that suits the tone of the film well. Needless to say, the film seriously delivers all the way to the finish line.

The shots of the post-apocalyptic world are frightening and barren, giving a glimpse into what could be. Panoramic shots of the wasteland are featured and even signs of hope are doled out by the camera crew. Of course, this film's true merit will always be its action but where other action films fail with sloppy camera work and boring characters and plot lines, Mad Max 2 succeeds, giving the great journey of a debilitated man and a secluded group. And through all these components, Max Max 2 rises above the rest of the films in the action genre.

Ultimately, this film is one of the best action films of all time. It doesn't place all its eggs in that basket, mind you; it features memorable characters, a well-developed setting, and an incredible story. It belongs to a select list of films where a sequel outdoes the predecessor. Max Max 2 is better than the first in every way and stands out on its own as an exceptional action film.


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