To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Evil Angels (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Evil Angels
Directed byFred Schepisi
Screenplay byRobert Caswell
Fred Schepisi
Based onEvil Angels
1985 book
by John Bryson
Produced byVerity Lambert
CinematographyIan Baker
Edited byJill Bilcock
Music byBruce Smeaton
Distributed byWarner Bros. (United States)
Roadshow Entertainment (Australia)[1]
Cannon Films (International)
Release dates
  • 3 November 1988 (1988-11-03) (Australia)
  • 11 November 1988 (1988-11-11) (United States)
  • 19 May 1989 (1989-05-19) (South Africa)
  • 26 May 1989 (1989-05-26) (United Kingdom)
Running time
121 minutes
United States
Budget$15 million[2]
Box office$6.9 million (United States)[3]

Evil Angels (released as A Cry in the Dark outside Australia and New Zealand) is a 1988 Australian drama film directed by Fred Schepisi. The screenplay by Schepisi and Robert Caswell is based on John Bryson's 1985 book of the same name. It chronicles the case of Azaria Chamberlain, a nine-week-old baby girl who disappeared from a campground near Uluru (then called Ayers Rock) in August 1980 and the struggle of her parents, Michael Chamberlain and Lindy Chamberlain, to prove their innocence to a public convinced that they were complicit in her death. Meryl Streep and Sam Neill star as the Chamberlains.

The film was released less than two months after the Chamberlains were exonerated by the Northern Territory Court of Appeals of all charges filed against them.[4] The film received generally favourable reviews with Streep's performance receiving high praise and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress, but was a box office disappointment, grossing only $6.9 million against its $15 million budget.


Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor Michael Chamberlain, his wife Lindy Chamberlain, their two sons, and their nine-week-old daughter Azaria are on a camping holiday in the Australian Outback. With the baby sleeping in their tent, the family enjoys a barbecue with their fellow campers when a cry is heard. Lindy returns to the tent to check and is certain she sees a dingo with something in its mouth running off as she approaches. When she discovers the infant is missing, everyone joins forces to search for her, without success. It is assumed what Lindy saw was the animal carrying Azaria, and a subsequent inquest rules her account of events as true.

However, the tide of public opinion soon turns against the Chamberlains. For many, Lindy seems too stoic, too cold-hearted, and too accepting of the disaster that has befallen the family. Gossip about her begins to swell and soon is accepted as statements of fact. The couple's religious beliefs are not widely practised in the country, and when the media report a rumour that the name Azaria means "sacrifice in the wilderness", the public is quick to believe they decapitated their baby with a pair of scissors as part of a bizarre religious rite.

Law-enforcement officials find new witnesses, forensics experts, and circumstantial evidence and reopen the investigation, eventually charging Lindy with murder. Seven months pregnant, she ignores her attorneys' advice to play to the jury's sympathy and appears stoic on the stand, convincing some onlookers of her guilt. As the trial progresses, Michael's faith in his religion and his belief in his wife falter, and he stumbles through his testimony, suggesting he is concealing the truth. In October 1982, Lindy is found guilty and immediately sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour, while Michael is found guilty as an accessory and given an 18-month suspended sentence.

More than three years later, while searching for the body of an English tourist who fell from Uluru, police discover clothing that is identified as the jacket Lindy had insisted Azaria was wearing over her jumpsuit, which had been recovered early in the investigation. Lindy is immediately released from prison, the case is reopened and all convictions against the Chamberlains are overturned. The film ends with Michael commenting on the ongoing battle to clear the family's name.



John Bryson's book Evil Angels was published in 1985 and film rights were bought by Verity Lambert, who got the interest of Meryl Streep. Robert Caswell wrote a script and Fred Schepisi agreed to direct. The movie was one of the most expensive and elaborate ever shot in Australia, with 350 speaking cast and 4,000 extras.[5]


In his review in The New York Times, Vincent Canby said the film "has much of the manner of a television docudrama, ultimately being a rather comforting celebration of personal triumph over travails so dread and so particular that they have no truly disturbing, larger application. Yet A Cry in the Dark is better than that, mostly because of another stunning performance by Meryl Streep, who plays Lindy Chamberlain with the kind of virtuosity that seems to redefine the possibilities of screen acting ... Though Sam Neill is very good as Lindy Chamberlain's tormented husband, Miss Streep supplies the guts of the melodrama that are missing from the screenplay."

"Mr. Schepisi has chosen to present the terrible events in the outback in such a way that there's never any doubt in the audience's mind about what happened. The audience doesn't worry about the fate of the Chamberlains as much as it worries about the unconvincing ease with which justice is miscarried. Mr. Schepisi may have followed the facts of the case, but he has not made them comprehensible in terms of the film. The manner by which justice miscarries is the real subject of the movie. In this screenplay, however, it serves only as a pretext for a personal drama that remains chilly and distant ... As a result, the courtroom confrontations are so weakened that A Cry in the Dark becomes virtually a one-character movie. It's Mr. Schepisi's great good fortune that that one character is portrayed by the incomparable Meryl Streep."[6]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times observed, "Schepisi is successful in indicting the court of public opinion, and his methodical (but absorbing) examination of the evidence helps us understand the state's circumstantial case. In the lead role, Streep is given a thankless assignment: to show us a woman who deliberately refused to allow insights into herself. She succeeds, and so, of course, there are times when we feel frustrated because we do not know what Lindy is thinking or feeling. We begin to dislike the character, and then we know how the Australian public felt. Streep's performance is risky, and masterful."[7]

In The Washington Post, Rita Kempley said, "Streep – yes, with another perfect accent – brings her customary skillfulness to the part. It's not a showy performance, but the heroine's internal struggle seems to come from the actress' pores. Neill, who costarred with Streep in Plenty, is quite good as a humble, bewildered sort who finally breaks under cross-examination."[8] Variety made note of the "intimate, incredible detail in the classy, disturbing drama."[9]

Box office

Evil Angels grossed A$3,006,964 at the box office in Australia.[10] This was considered a disappointment considering the publicity and subject matter.[5]


Award Category Subject Result
AACTA Awards
(1989 AFI Awards)
Best Film Verity Lambert Won
Best Direction Fred Schepisi Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Fred Schepisi & Robert Caswell Won
Best Actor Sam Neill Won
Best Actress Meryl Streep Won
Best Editing Jill Bilcock Nominated
Best Original Music Score Bruce Smeaton Nominated
Best Sound Craig Carter, Peter Fenton, Martin Oswin & Terry Rodman Nominated
Academy Award Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Fred Schepisi Nominated
Best Actress Meryl Streep Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award Best Actress Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Drama A Cry in the Dark Nominated
Best Director Fred Schepisi Nominated
Best Screenplay Fred Schepisi & Robert Caswell Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Meryl Streep Nominated
Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing - Sound Effects Tim Chau Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Award Best Actress Meryl Streep Won
Political Film Society Award Exposé A Cry in the Dark Won
Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Actress Meryl Streep Nominated

In popular culture

In 2005, the phrase "The dingo took my baby!", was nominated by the American Film Institute in its list of AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes.[11] The quote, often incorrectly quoted as "a dingo ate my baby", became part of pop culture after the release of the movie, appearing on such shows as Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Frasier, Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Baby Daddy.

In June 2008, the AFI revealed its "Ten Top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Evil Angels was acknowledged as ninth best in the courtroom drama genre.[12][13]

See also



  1. ^ "Evil Angels (35mm)". Australian Classification Board. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  2. ^ Maddox, Garry. "Next year's 10 Best Films." Sydney Morning Herald, 13 July 1987, p. 16.
  3. ^ "Box Office Information for: 'A Cry in the Dark'. " Box Office Mojo. Retrieved: 14 April 2012.
  4. ^ Harper, Dan. "Review: 'A Cry in the Dark'." Archived 25 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, March 2001. Retrieved: 25 April 2008.
  5. ^ a b Stratton 1990, pp. 60–62.
  6. ^ Canby, Vincent. "Reviews/Film; Meryl Streep in 'A Cry in the Dark'." The New York Times, 11 November 1988. Retrieved: 25 April 2008.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Review: 'A Cry in the Dark'." Chicago Sun-Times, 11 November 1988. Retrieved: 25 April 2008.
  8. ^ Kempley, Rita. "Review: 'A Cry in the Dark' (PG-13)." The Washington Post, 11 November 1988. Retrieved: 25 April 2008.
  9. ^ "Review: 'A Cry in the Dark', Australia: Evil Angels'." Variety, 1988. Retrieved: 25 April 2008.
  10. ^ "Film Victoria." Australian Films at the Australian Box Office. Archived 18 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  12. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10." American Film Institute, 17 June 2008. Retrieved: 18 June 2008.
  13. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10: Top 10 Courtroom Drama". American Film Institute. Retrieved 13 August 2016.


  • Bryson, John. Evil Angels. Ringwood, Australia: Penguin Books, 1985 (first edition). ISBN 0-670-80993-4.
  • Chamberlain, Lindy. Through My Eyes: Lindy Chamberlain, An Autobiography. Melbourne, Australia: William Heinemann, 1990. ISBN 0-85561-331-9.
  • Stratton, David. The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry. London: Pan MacMillan, 1990. ISBN 978-0-7329-0250-6.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 March 2022, at 10:49
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.