Mad Dog Morgan - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mad Dog Morgan Reviews

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February 6, 2015
Put in context of the time it was filmed it's great. However it is disturbing, confronting and graphic. A little too much to stomach.
½ February 12, 2014
"43%" !!!??? GO WATCH THE WALTONS !!!
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2014
From the Mill Creek 20 Movie Mean Guns Collection. Mad Dog Morgan is a real rarity, which is a great shame, because Philip Mora's film has much to recommend it and deserves much better than a dodgy cropped transfer on the Mill Creek label. More a chronicle of the exploits of 'Mad Dog' Morgan, the bushranger who inspired Ned Kelly, than a conventional narrative, it's a non-judgemental portrait of an inconsistent, unpredictable man - after going to great lengths to deny he'll ever "be made a murderer," he then becomes one almost immediately when he drunkenly sets his gun off, wounding his host, and then hurrying off to kill the man that he himself has just sent after a doctor. It's very much a seventies film (in the best sense), with a sense of the violence of both the landscape and the people trying to eke a living from it, and it constantly surprises with neat little details such as the magistrate who doles out long sentences simply because there are still so many roads to build.

Despite being made at the height of his drugs-and-booze lost period, Dennis Hopper gives a pretty good performance as the naïve and contradictory folk hero cum psychopath, even managing a fairly convincing Irish accent (I'm sure th Irish could find fault, but it never makes you cringe). There's an impressive supporting cast of familiar Aussie faces, not least Gulpilil as Morgan's beloved partner in crime and Frank Thring at his most superciliously unpleasant as the Superintendent: few actors could seem more natural when he and his social circle start casually divvying up Morgan's body parts in the final scene (the head for an anthropologist, the scrotum for the Superintendent's new tobacco pouch). Although not overly graphic, it's still fairly strong meat. 3 stars 2-3-14
September 29, 2013
What a marvellous film this is. A strong lead performance from the legend that is Dennis Hopper which is accompanied by a great cast. Philippe Mora's direction is outstanding with some truly memorable imagery and the film pounds away at a breakneck speed way ahead of its time. It's a film with a truly mythic feel perfectly fitting its subject. Highest recommendations.
½ June 11, 2013
Dennis Hopper gives a mesmerizing performance in this explicitly violent action film.
February 27, 2012
Interesting Australian synthesis of Malick and the spaghetti Western. (Call it a Vegemite Western.) And yes, Dennis Hopper (excellent) does seem high as a kite.
½ May 30, 2011
Ragged and raw ... so ragged it barely makes sense for pretty long stretches. Still, it gets by on a lot of energy and a lot of weird charm.
May 28, 2011
This is an absolute load of old bollocks!!!
There is no redeemable value in any scene.
There is absolutely no value in any "actors" performance.
They even had Garry Meadows with a speaking part!!! What a fucking joke!!! GM was a "media personality" in WA at the time. He was a "popular" radio jock. He was so far up himself they called hoim "Toes" coz that wa sall you could se of him!!!

The whole story is embarrising and bears as much relationmship to reality as my arse!!!

Don't waste you time watching it! I just watched most of it coz there is naught else worth looking at on FTA TV and I would like to see if I can stay awake for "STONE"
Chances are dwindling
Stay Happdj
½ April 4, 2011
I really enjoyed this, more often than not for knowing the wild behind the scenes shenanigans that Hopper got up to during the filming.

Is that legit reason to like a movie? The stuff behind the camera? I suppose if it helps me enjoy the movie it can't be all bad, right?

Give it a look, it's good stuff.
December 1, 2010
Dennis Hopper is hillarious as the Aussie Outlaw Mad Dog Morgan in this faboulos ironic-sociocritic Australian Anti-Western i love the beautiful Pictures of the Australian Nature and this trancy Digeridoo Soundtrack
November 24, 2010
As far as Australian Bushranger Films go, Mad Dan Morgan was one of the very few bushrangers in the 70s to get a film adaptation. Somehow the film is historically flawed, perhaps its hows much historical accuracy is in the script. Dennis Hopper was a reluctant choice to play the violent outlaw, however theres not much character development in the character that suggest that Australian Bushranger heritage is praised. Apart from that the costumes, settings and cultural backdrop are very good. The film could have better with more emotion in Hopper's Morgan along with some Historical accuracy to suggest Mad Dan Morgan had more Alias' It is now remembered as one of the many Underated Australian Bushranger film as well as in Hopper's career.
October 31, 2010
With one of Hopper's most memorable "over-the-top" performances (and all with an Irish-accent too), "Mad Dog Morgan" tells the true tale of one of Australia's most violent outlaws roaming the Outback in the mid-1800's.

Although very entertaining (Hopper was reportedly drunk throughout most of production -- his reason being that he wanted to "properly" portray Morgan) and retaining much accuracy as to the Australian outlaw's murders, this film is not without its flaws. And unfortunately, there are many of them.

One of the main problems I have is that the version released to the American public, and the one I happened to see, is that although it is "officially" rated-R, this is a heavily edited version of the film. Certain words are dubbed out, along with certain scenes that were obviously cut away from for unexplained reasons.

Also, even though it's shown in the Widescreen 2.35:1 format, don't be fooled by the film's aspect ratio -- certain scenes still pan and scan and reveal that the movie wasn't formatted properly from the 4:3 aspect ratio.

The film's continuity doesn't help with the fact that Hopper's very fake looking jet-black beard (the hair on his head is brown) can't seem to stay looking the same throughout the mid-point of the movie: sometimes it's a full beard and mustache, the next scene it's just the beard, and the next is an even thicker beard and mustache.

But other problems with the film can be dismissed if you really don't care about the back-story of Morgan: one thing being his nickname, "Mad Dog", which was the name given to Morgan by the film's director, Philippe Mora. In fact, the outlaw's real name was John Fuller, with the name "Dan Morgan" being one of his aliases.

Also, the Irish-accent that Hopper uses that I referred to earlier is actually unexplained: Dan Morgan was born in and lived in Australia for much of his short life.

Other than those flaws, the film does have its moments of low-budget filmmaking uniqueness and much of it looks and feels as raw as the continent it was filmed in.

"Mad Dog Morgan" also stars the famous Aboriginal character actor David Gulpilil as Billy, Morgan's partner in crime. If the name doesn't sound familiar, he will be best remembered for his roles in "Crocodile Dundee" and 1971's "Walkabout".
And an interesting bit of trivia about "Mad Dog Morgan" is that Gulpilil is said to have gone walkabout during the middle of production to ask the trees about Dennis Hopper, and the trees reportedly told him that Hopper was crazy.

As I said before about the storyline, it's pretty much accurate, that is, until the ending -- SPOILER ALERT!

In the film, Morgan is shot in the neck and in a controversial scene, dies a painful death after hours of choking on his own blood (in truth, Morgan was shot in the back). But the version I saw edits most of that scene out and goes straight to a scene involving his body on display for officials whose dialogue is dubbed for language.

"Mad Dog Morgan" may have been a great movie, but then again I will never know because how can you truly critique a film when part of the director's vision has been edited for content.
October 20, 2010
Dennis Hopper stars as the title character. Actually, it's Dennis Hopper, a fake beard and truckloads of drugs and alcohol starring, and Hopper is outstanding. His performance lends a dreamlike quality to the film, which would have been a rather dull bit of work without Hopper's strangeness to lend it some color.

The story traces the fall of an Irish immigrant to mid-19th century Australia who goes broke while working as a gold miner. He's forced to steal food and clothes to survive and is arrested, then given a harsh sentence to 12 years of hard labor by a judge who gives out such sentences so that convicts can be used to build roads. Morgan is assaulted in ever possible way while in prison, both by guards and other convicts. Upon release, he's rejected society and become a horse thief and highwayman, teaming up with an Aborigine whose tribe has been wiped out by European settlers.

"Mad Dog Morgan" is more about the inhumanity, racism and brutality of Australian society of its time. Morgan is a somewhat sympathetic character; he's a vicious criminal, but this monster has been created by the system itself. He still possesses some good traits, but even they've been perverted. By the time Morgan is brought down by bounty hunters and police at the end of the film, it's clear that he's intended here to be a cautionary example about the lack of fairness in society.

Luckily for Dennis Hopper, his character has been written to be blasted out of his head for most of the film. It's clear that Hopper really was. David Gulpilil is good as Morgan's Aborigine partner, likely bringing a good deal of personal history to his performance. The rest of the cast is interchangeable. Some great cinematography of the Australian wilderness. The editing of the film detracts greatly from it, though. Scenes are strung together without transitions, making "Mad Dog Morgan" choppy and confusing at times. Fans of Dennis Hopper should see this flick, though, to see the actor at his rebellious high-point... emphasis on the "high."
October 12, 2010
he goes through hell
August 28, 2010
Flawed, but interesting Australian 70s exploitation flick. It's hard to believe Hopper was drunk and high on cocaine throughout filming, because I think this is his best performance.
August 13, 2010
It's got an off-kilter pace that makes it a little uneasy to follow at certain times (especially in the first 20 minutes), but Dennis Hopper gives it his all, even with such a fake beard. If nothing else, he makes it a must-see. I just wish the film had a better editor, then it could be the underlooked classic it was touted to be on the Troma DVD.
July 21, 2010
Dennis Hopper en Australie pour le tournage de "Mad Dog Morgan" ça donne un film dure, violent, parfois spectaculaire et son acteur principal bourré comme pas possible même quand il se rend sur la tombe du vrai Morgan. Il incarne dans ce film relativement méconnu, un éleveur qui après un passage en taule devient "bushranger" avec l'aide de Billy un vrai australien qui affirme avoir un père blanc (!!!). C'est un film dont j'ai entendu parler en bien mais en regardant je ne l'ai pas totalement retrouvé et j'ai compris pourquoi, de toute façon ça se voyait déjà, c'est une version censurée !!! Et le pire c'est que ce n'est même pas coupé convenablement, le montage est fait en dépit du bon sens dans certains cas et rend certaines parties incohérentes, quid des scènes chocs comme le viol de Morgan en taule, et d'autres rigolote comme l'ivrogne qui montre son cul ou la femme qui montre ses seins à Morgan. Pas que ce soit super indispensable, mais c'est tellement mal coupé que laisser ces scènes dans le film n'aurait sûrement pas nuit à sa cohérence disparue. Reste un film aux paysages magnifiques, aux prestations convaincantes et qui nous transporte dans cette Australie sauvage et aux grands espaces, dommage que je ne soit pas tombé sur la bonne version !!!
July 4, 2010
Dennis Hopper plays Mad Dog Morgan, which is just him only really, really drunk. Rumor has it that he was deported from Austalia immediately after his last day of shooting.
Super Reviewer
June 17, 2010
Mad Dog Morgan would have been unwatchable had Dennis Hopper not been involved. He makes this movie interesting, scratch that! He makes the movie, period.
The thing that got me with the film was that it is very uneven, I don't know if it was the copy I have but the editing in the movie is terrible.
The film showcases Hopper at a crazy moment in his life, where he was at his artistic peak as an actor, and fueled by alcohol and drugs he had all but become an outcast in Hollywood, and despite all this he gives one of his most memorable performances.
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