You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

A Cry in the Dark

One of the oddest and most illogical murder cases of modern times is recounted in intimate, incredible detail in the classy, disturbing drama A Cry in the Dark [from John Bryson's Book Evil Angels].

Meryl Streep Sam Neill Bruce Myles Charles Tingwell Nick Tate Lewis Fitz-Gerald

One of the oddest and most illogical murder cases of modern times is recounted in intimate, incredible detail in the classy, disturbing drama A Cry in the Dark [from John Bryson’s Book Evil Angels].

The saga of Lindy Chamberlain’s harassment, trial and imprisonment for having allegedly murdered her baby daughter, when there was literally no evidence against her, was the biggest news story in Australia of the 1980s.

In 1980, the Chamberlains visit the monumental Ayers Rock in the outback. With the baby put to sleep in a tent, the family begins enjoying a nighttime barbeque when a cry is heard. Checking the tent, Lindy briefly glimpses a dingo slipping out of it and then, to her horror, finds Azaria missing from her bed.

No trace of the infant is found, and the conclusion appears to be that the dingo made off with her. Astonishingly, however, sentiment begins to grow throughout the country to the effect that Lindy killed her daughter. From there, the press can’t let the story die. Lindy is charged with murder and Michael named as accessory after the fact.

If one didn’t know who Meryl Streep is, one could easily guess Lindy was played by a fine, unknown Australian actress. Sam Neill, who here looks remarkably like the real Michael Chamberlain, well conveys the tentative strengths and very real weaknesses of a man thrust into an unimaginable situation.

1988: Nomination: Best Actress (Meryl Streep)

A Cry in the Dark

Production: Cannon. Director Fred Schepisi; Producer Verity Lambert; Screenplay Robert Caswell, Fred Schepisi; Camera Ian Baker; Editor Jill Bilcock; Music Bruce Smeaton;; Art Director Wendy Dickson, George Liddle

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 121 MIN.

With: Meryl Streep Sam Neill Bruce Myles Charles Tingwell Nick Tate Lewis Fitz-Gerald

More Film

  • Studiocanal has sold Jean-Paul Gaultier's "Freak

    Jean-Paul Gaultier's 'Freak And Chic' Documentary Sells For Studiocanal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Underscoring the strength and scope of French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s legacy around the world, the documentary “Jean Paul Gaultier Freak And Chic,” which chronicles the making of Gaultier’s ongoing popular show in Paris, has been luring distributors in key markets. Sold by Studiocanal and produced by Capa, the documentary has already been picked [...]

  • Korea Box Office: 'MAL·MO·E' and 'Inside

    Korea Box Office: 'MAL·MO·E' and 'Inside Me' Remain on Top

    There was no change at the top of the Korean box office, as local titles “MAL·MO·E: The Secret Mission” and “Inside Me (a.k.a. The Dude in Me)” dominated a second weekend. Lotte’s “MAL·MO·E” earned $4.79 million from 618,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday for a total of $16.7 million from 2.23 million admissions after two [...]


    China Box Office: ‘Bumblebee’ Flies to $138 Million Total

    “Bumblebee” flew to its third weekend of dominance in China. But the Chinese box office remains in lackluster mode at the start of 2019. The spinoff of Paramount’s “Transformers” franchise earned $16.1 million in Chinese theaters between Friday and Sunday, according to data from exhibition and distribution consultancy Artisan Gateway. That was a 38% drop [...]

  • Mara Watkins Nabhaan Rizwan Steven Wouterlood

    Diverse Talents Pepper Variety's Fifth 10 Europeans to Watch List

    Variety has unveiled its fifth edition of 10 Europeans to Watch, spotlighting 10 rising talents from across the continent who are poised for breakthroughs in 2019. The selection includes emerging actors, directors, showrunners and cinematographers from six countries whose dynamic talents are being showcased on screens big and small, and on both sides of the camera. [...]

  • Glass Movie

    Box Office: 'Glass' Shines Overseas With $48.5 Million Weekend

    After autobots and aquatic kings have dominated foreign markets over the past few weeks, a different kind of hero has risen to the top of box office charts. M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is the new champ overseas, pulling in $48.5 million from international territories. The supernatural thriller, a sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2016’s “Split,” debuted [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    'Roma' and 'The Favourite' Lead London Critics' Circle Winners

    After ruling the U.S. critics’ award circuit, “Roma” continued its dominance on the other side of the pond, as the London Film Critics’ Circle announced its winners tonight. A week after landing seven BAFTA nominations, Alfonso Cuarón’s Mexico City memory piece landed film of the year and director of the year honors from the group [...]

  • M. Night Shyamalan Should Stop Writing

    The Big Twist M. Night Shyamalan Needs: He Should Stop Writing His Own Scripts (Column)

    Quick, name the greatest film by each of the following directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, David Lean, Robert Altman, Roman Polanski, Kathryn Bigelow, Jonathan Demme. Answers will vary (mine would be: “Psycho,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Nashville,” “Chinatown,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The Silence of the Lambs”), but whatever your taste, odds are that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content