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Trivia / Mad Max

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: It was Roger Ward's idea for his character to wear a scarf in one scene. "If I was going bare top, I was going to wear a tie."
  • Banned in China: This movie was banned in New Zealand for the scene when Goose is burned alive inside of his vehicle. It mirrored an incident with a real gang not long before the film came out. It was later shown in New Zealand in 1983, after the huge success of The Road Warrior, but only as long as it had an R18 certificate.
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  • Breakthrough Hit: For George Miller and Mel Gibson.
  • Cast the Expert:
    • A lot of the extras recruited to play biker gang members were actual local bikers, whom the pocket-change-budget production paid in beer.
    • George Miller was a physician before he became a filmmaker, and used his medical expertise to create the injuries seen in the film.
  • Channel Hop: The movie was distributed by Roadshow in its narrative Australia, American International Pictures in the USA and Warner Bros. for the rest of the world. Warner Bros went on to produce the rest of the series and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer now has the North American rights as they own the AIP library.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • French Canada: Screaming Cars
    • Italy: Interceptor
  • Deleted Scene: The Mad Max Movies page lists various scenes that were cut from the first movie, but were said to have shown up in early cuts of the US version that were broadcast on cable television in the early 1980s and also included on VHS/Betamax copies. At the time of this writing, video of these deleted scenes have not been found, and they may be an urban legend.
  • The Foreign Subtitle:
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    • Greece: Mad Max: The Avenger of the Night
    • Portugal: Mad Max: The Motorcycles of Death
    • Slovenia: Mad Max: Road Warrior
    • Spain: Mad Max: Highway Savages
  • Method Acting: Hugh Keays-Byrne and the other actors playing the bikies stayed in character most of the time to create a real feeling of tension between them and the MFP actors. This included the gang sleeping rough with their motorbikes, whilst Gibson and the other actors playing the MFP all stayed at a hotel. It worked a little too well; Geoff Parry (Bubba Zanetti) recalled being refused service at a bank and David Bracks (Mudguts) said he was kicked out of a restaurant. A lot of the crew were afraid of Hugh as well, who was almost constantly in character as the Toecutter. Tim Burns (Johnny the Boy) was so into character, that he annoyed everyone on-set, and was abandoned one day during lunch while handcuffed to the wreck.
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  • No Budget: Prior to the release of The Blair Witch Project, Mad Max had the highest profit ($100 million US Dollars) to cost ($300,000-400,000 Australian) ratio of any film. Most of the actors provided their own cars and the extras were paid with beer.
  • No Stunt Double: No stunt doubles were used for the hand-to-hand fighting.
  • The Other Marty: Originally, filming was scheduled to take ten weeks-six weeks of first unit, and four weeks on stunt and chase sequences. However, four days into shooting, Rosie Bailey, who was originally cast as Jessie, was injured in a bike accident. Production was halted, and Bailey was replaced by Joanne Samuel, causing a two-week delay.
  • Spared by the Cut: One deleted scene was said to have the biker gang return to Main Force Patrol headquarters and kill the remaining MFP officers. That may explain the absence of Max's comrades when he goes hunting for the bikers.
  • Star-Making Role: For Mel Gibson.
  • Studio Hop: The film was released by Roadshow Entertainment in Australia, American International Pictures in the US, and Warner Bros. in the rest of the world.
  • Throw It In!: Jessie doesn't use real sign language. They're just some movements that Joanne Samuel made up.
  • What Could Have Been: Judy Davis was said to have auditioned for the role of Jessie and passed over, but George Miller has declared she was only there to accompany her classmates Mel Gibson and Steve Bisley.
  • Write What You Know: The events of the film were heavily based on George Miller's memories of all the serious injuries and death he witnessed while working in a Sydney ER, as well as the serious car accidents, some of which killed friends of his, that occurred around his boyhood home in rural Queensland.

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