An Australian woman stands trial for the murder of her child, which she claims was stolen by a dingo. Based on a true story.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 3-FEB-2004
Media Type: DVD
A bit slow at times but interesting story about true events.
Baby Azaria Saga - The Case that gripped Australia
Adam Long | Ireland | 03/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wish to make a commentry on the Lindy Chamberlain Case in general and in particular what it revealed about Australia as a society - There was not one person in the country who did not have a deeply held opinion on what actually happened to the poor baby on that tragic night in 1980. Rearding the film, I thought it was a work of pure genious. Although I had a deeply held interest in the Case before I saw the film, which makes me biased I suppose, there is no doubt in my mind that Meryl Streep gave her best perfromance to date in this film. She played the part of Lindy Chamberalin so well that attention is soon deflected from Meryl onto Lindy very early on into the film. That was certainly the case for me. Meryl melts so well into her study that you actually forget about Meryl altogether and get totally wrapped up in the plight of this tragic woman who faces the double nightmare of not only losing her baby in horrific circumstances but then facing the trauma of being paraded before an accusing nation for two painful years before finally winding up behind bars for a crome she did not commit, which the blood thirsty, bigoted morbid folk of Australia relished no end. Let me assure people who were not in Australia during this extrordinary period - The Chamberalin Case was not viewed simply as a legal matter to be sorted out in the Courts, rather it was a campaign against those who did not fit the conventional stereotype and who were out of line with mainstream thought. Lindy was merely the symbol of such people It could so easily have been a black person, a gay person etc. As a member of a Religion which most Australians viewed as a dangerous Cult and as a woman who did not act in a way most people viewed as "normal", she did not stand a chance form the very start. From the moment those first questions arose - In the film we see the man in the bar straining as he holds a bucket in his mouth which he says carries the same weight as that of a 9 week old baby, to the woman at home watching Lindy's Ayers Rock Interview fuming that "you could crack wallnuts on her face", we know that Lindys ordeal has just begun. In short, Lindy Chamberlain was a dark evil witch to the vast majority of Australian people - Public Opinion had already convicted Lindy long before her Case came to Trial. Without wanting to take the high moral ground, it is a fact that I was one of the few who believed and continued to believe that Lindy and Michael Chamberalin were in fact victims of tragic ctrcumstances, tormented because of a nations intolerence to minority groups. The Film got all the ingredients that made the Dingo Baby Case truly the Trial of the 20th Century . What I loved about the film was the major emphisis it placed on the gossiping populace in the Cafes, Pubs Tennis Clubs etc. - detatched people who were not known to the two central characters in the film but who, by their opinions and views, influenced the Trial verdict to a degree never witnessed in another Trial before or since in any other country. The focus on Lindy's hairstyle, "those dresses" and the star sign of her Unborn baby, were commented upon and analysed Coast to Coast, Perth to Sydney, Darwin to Adelaide - everyone had something to say about a certain Lindy Chamberlain. The whole sage reached unprecentented heights in 1982 - the year Lindy had her 'official' Trial and one had to be exceptionally brave to defend a person who by this time was far and away the most hated woman in the Country. The Film captures this crucial aspect of the saga perfectly and because of this and also of course because of the powerful performances of Streep and Neill, I give the film full marks. Finally, just a few facts for those who still doubt Lindy's innocence (a survey in May 1998 revealed that a majority of Australians still believe Lindy murdered her baby! ) : 1 - It was impossible for Lindy to have killed her baby and covered it up in such a short period of time. Fellow Campers who had not previously met the Chamberalins gave evidence that Lindy was absent from the Barbecue Area for just 10 minutes! She left the Barbecue area with Azaria and her 6 year old Son Aiden to put Azaria to Bed in the Family Tent. Its incredible to believe what she was supposed to have done in this time - Put tracksuit pance over her dress,Brought Azaria to the front seat of Family car, slit her throat, cleaned up the Car, placed the body of Azaria in the Camera Bag (! ), changed back into her dress, made Dingo Tracks around the Tent and after all of this have time to pick up a can of beans and happily run back to the Barbecue area with her son. It just DID NOT happen Lindy doubters. Azaria was alive and kicking after Lindy returned from the Tent. 2 - Even if she the Time, how is it no traces of blood were found in the Car - the supposed murder venue. The Police claimed they found blood but this was later dismissed as engine noise dampner. So where did all the real blood go? 3 - The most conclusive fact that proves Lindy Innocent. How do the Lindy doubters explain the fact that the fellow Campers heard a sharp cry coming from the Chamberalin Tent while Lindy was standing in front of them at the Barbecue area! Afterall this Cry was heard just minutes after Lindy was supposed to have slaughtered baby Azaria and stuffed her body in a camera bag.. FACE THE FACTS AUSTRALIA!"
Barry Minster | Kew, Victoria Australia | 02/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The story of the baby who was taken by a dingo was perhaps the most newsworthy of the 1980's. I was at the time a master control operator at Channel Seven in Melbourne and on duty when the news of a missing baby at Ayres Rock in Central Australia came thru. I had the job of organizing the television signals from the Rock to our network in Melbourne. It was quite a task and seeing the events unfold on the DVD, I again revisited my own part of the overall picture of history.Further to this event, my 3 year old daughter [Nicolette] was eventually to play the role of Kahalia Chamberlain in Fred Schepschi's film and appears in the final 3 scenes.I still work in the TV/Film industry and occasionally look back at this excellent piece of dramatised history as a genuine piece of work, accurately played out and presented. History proved the innocence of Lindy and the incompetence of our forensic work, however, hindsight is a wonderful thingBarry Minster
Streep at her best
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Meryl Streep is firing on all cylinders in this brilliant portrayal (and movie) of Lindy Chamberlain. I can't believe she didn't get the Oscar for this one. Stripping away all possible mannerisms (twitchy eyes, flighty hands, dramatic pauses) and adopting a steeled gaze, Streep transforms herself into the most dislikable (and fascinating!) victim she has yet played. It's almost as if the bones of her face have been replaced by iron. People alway remark about her accents, but the accent is always the least of her characterizations. Her ability to adopt the look and simply the BEING of her characters is unparalleled. This is really screen acting at its best. And this is a great film, too, for its observations into how an entire culture can become caught up in the guilt or innocence of one person they don't even know (O.J., anyone?)"
David Anderson | St. Cloud, MN | 08/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Cry In the Dark" is based on a true story about a disappearing baby. The mother maintains her claim that a dingo carried her baby daughter through the woods and killed her. As the country listens, rumors circulate that she killed her baby. The family either stays tighter knit or almost separates. Much drama occurs during the turmoil of losing a family member and being called the antichrist. Regardless of what's said in interviews, no one listens.Meryl Streep deserved her eighth Oscar nomination for Best Actress as the accused mother. Streep gives much of her own nightmare thoughts into the screen. Just her expressed emotions are enough to give the audience chills while causing them to almost cry. Sam Neill gives the best performance of his career as the accusee's husband. All 350 acting extras also give great performance.The writers greatly informed the audience of the real events. It digs deep into every characters' raw emotions. The director and the producers wonderfully led the cast and crew to their highest potential. This is one of the top ten best movies released in 1988. Its compelling theme will leave the audience with a sense of joy by the movie's end."
A Movie With A Timeless Theme
H. F. Corbin | ATLANTA, GA USA | 05/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Michael and Lindy Chamberlain (Sam Neill and Meryl Streep) must endure the double horror of having their infant baby carried off by a dingo and then being convicted in a-- forgive me-- kangaroo court of the child's death. This movie, which grips you early on and never lets you go, sad to say, is based on a true incident that occurred in Australia in 1980. The Chamberlains, who are devout Seventh-Day Adventists, are guilty of being different. They are tried by both the public and media. Hysteria and rumor run rampant while reason and justice get lost in a rush to judgment.With the possible exception of IRON WEED, Meryl Streep has never made a bad movie. She is perfect here as the mother who has hope against hope that the truth will out and she will be found innocent. With an awful haircut-- the old bowl over your head look-- and the additional weight she apparently gained (she is pregnant during her trial) she manages to almost look plain and frumpy. Sam Neill as her fundamentalist minister husband gives an outstranding performance as well. The scenes of the Australian outback are beautiful.The theme is timeless: too often to be different is to be evil. If you are different, then you are not a person; and I can ignore the evidence and find you guilty of heinous crimes. Unfortunately, the Austalians in 1980 were not unique in this disease. One only has to remember the recent debacle of innocent inmates on death row in Illinois who were found to be innocent with new DNA evidence. Then there's Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the 1950's. There's still questions about whether they were guilty of the crimes for which they were executed. The list goes on and on."