Ted Kotcheff’s nightmarish tale of a stranded British teacher’s torment at the hands of an Outback gang played in selection in Cannes in 1971 before Martin Scorsese brought a restored version back to the Croisette in 2009.

Seldom seen in the US, the film was restored after a negative was uncovered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, days before the materials would have been incinerated.

Wake In Fright will screen at Film Forum in New York on Oct 5 and The NuArt in Los Angeles on Oct 19 before expanding to additional markets. DVD and VoD releases have been set for the first quarter 2013. Drafthouse Films will make it available for festival and museum bookings until September. 

“Kotcheff’s stunning and dreadfully creepy film inspired a generation of accomplished Aussie filmmakers,” said Drafthouse Films acquisition director Evan Husney, “and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be the outfit that unleashes this masterwork to movie-lovers everywhere. I say without hesitation that this film is truly one of our all-time favorites.”

Drafthouse CEO Tim League, Husney and James Emanuel Shapiro of Drafthouse Films negotiated the North American deal with Emily Stothers and Nick Batzias of Madman Entertainment.