Fortress

Fortress

4.8 5
Director: Arch Nicholson

Cast: Arch Nicholson, Rachel Ward, Sean Garlick, Elaine Cusick

     
 

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In an Australian outback town so small that children of all ages share a single classroom, teacher Sally (Rachel Ward) suffers the typical frustrations of life in the provinces. She really finds something to fret about when a gang of gun-toting, mask-wearing criminals kidnaps her and the students and drives them to the remote wilderness. With the kids' safety, perhaps… See more details below

Overview

In an Australian outback town so small that children of all ages share a single classroom, teacher Sally (Rachel Ward) suffers the typical frustrations of life in the provinces. She really finds something to fret about when a gang of gun-toting, mask-wearing criminals kidnaps her and the students and drives them to the remote wilderness. With the kids' safety, perhaps survival, in the balance, Sally must appease the lewdly suggestive bandits while scheming for a way to escape their clutches. After several abortive attempts result in multiple deaths, she and the oldest children manage to usher the young ones to at least provisional safety. Free but stranded in a mountain hideaway, the class must band together to survive and perhaps turn the tables on the men who continue to hunt them.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
A crackerjack script, a surfeit of ambience, David Connell's terrific on-location cinematography, and the exceptional lead performance of Thorn Birds star Rachel Ward elevate this down-under kidnap drama far above most other mid-'80s made-for-cable fare. Director Arch Nicholson and screenwriter Everett de Roche, who had previously worked together on the cheeky horror flick Razorback, get lots of little details right in this tale of schoolchildren and their teacher held for ransom in the Australian outback. For one thing, the plot remains admirably easy to follow despite hairpin twists and unfamiliar locales. The interaction between the kidnappers -- whose freakish disguises, such as the leader's Father Christmas mask, are truly disturbing -- subtly drives home the pins-and-needles power dynamics that can make or break a crime. The child actors, meanwhile, portray the toddler-to-teenaged students with a nice mixture of uncomfortable petulance and bruised terror. It's Ward, though, who makes the picture, one minute managing bathroom breaks in the criminals' hideout, the next masterminding escape attempts as crafty as they are nail-biting. If the final showdown between the children and their attackers recalls Lord of the Flies in both its savagery and its pointed commentary, well, Fortress raises issues of social breakdown and tribal mentality just as viscerally as that well-worn classic. In short, this is a B-movie scenario with A-list execution.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/16/2013
UPC:
0883316769997
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
NR
Source:
Hbo Archives
Sales rank:
35,482

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rachel Ward Sally Jones
Sean Garlick Sid
Elaine Cusick Mrs. O'Brien
Marc Gray Tommy
Rebecca Rigg Narelle
Beth Buchanan Leanne
Robin Mason Derek
Vernon Wells Dabby Duck
Peter Hehir Father Christmas
David Bradshaw Pussy Cat
Wendy Playfair Old Woman
Nick Waters Det. Sgt. Cotter
Terence Donovan Det. Sgt. Mitchell
Ray Chubb Publican
Laurie Moran Mr. O'Brien
Bradley Meehan Richard
Asher Keddie Sue
Anna Crawford Sarah
Richard Terrill Toby
Roger Stephen Mac the Mouse
Ed Turley Old Man

Technical Credits
Arch Nicholson Director
Danny Beckerman Score Composer
David Connell Cinematographer
Hector Crawford Executive Producer
Ian Crawford Executive Producer
Everett de Roche Screenwriter
Hilary Heath Associate Producer
Michael Lake Associate Producer
Nicholas McCallum Art Director
Raymond Menmuir Producer
Terry Needham Asst. Director
Brian Pearce Special Effects
Jose Perez Makeup
Terry Stapleton Executive Producer
Fiona Strain Sound Editor
Ralph Strasser Editor
Phil Warner Production Designer
Helen Watts Production Manager
Mike Woolveridge Sound Editor

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