Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

35mm film, “filmed in Panavision” (anamorphic), colour, 2.35:1
Dolby Stereo, 70mm 6-Track Dolby, English
Reviewed at The

An Australian science fiction film directed by George Miller and George Ogilvie. It is the third film in the series.

Plot Summary

Several years after the events of Mad Max 2 (1981), Max is a drifter, endlessly wandering the of Australia. When his team of camels are stolen he finds himself in Bartertown where he falls foul of the political in-fighting between the colony's ruler, Auntie Entity and her rival, MasterBlaster. Banished to the wastelands, Max stumbles upon a group of who mistakenly believe him to be their long-awaited messiah. When the kids try to reach Bartertown, Max again finds himself coming up against Auntie Entity…


Directors: George Miller & George Ogilvie
© MCMLXXXV [1985] Kennedy Miller Productions Pty. Ltd.
Kennedy Miller presents [opening credits] A Kennedy Miller presentation [end credits]
Producer: George Miller
Co-Producers: Doug Mitchell & Terry Hayes
Associate Producers: Steve Amezdroz, Marcus D'Arcy
Written by: Terry Hayes & George Miller
Director of Photography: Dean Semler
Editor: Richard Francis-Bruce
Original Music Score Composed and Conducted by: Maurice Jarre
Production Sound Recordist: Lloyd Carrick
Costume Designer: Norma Moriceau
Chief Make-up Artist: Elizabeth Ann Fardon
Special Effects Supervisor: Mike Wood
Special Visual Effects by: Universal City Studios' Matte Department
Production Designer: Graham ‘Grace' Walker

Mel Gibson (Max)
Tina Turner (Auntie Entity)
Helen Buday (Savannah Nix)
Frank Thring (The Collector)
Bruce Spence (Jedediah the pilot)
Robert Grubb (Pig Killer)
Angelo Rossitto (The Master)
Angry Anderson (Ironbar)
George Spartels (Blackfinger)
Edwin Hodgeman (Dr Dealgood)
Mark Spain (Mr Skyfish)
Mark Kounnas (Gekko)
Rod Zuanic (Scrooloose)
Justine Clarke (Anna Goanna)
Shane Tickner (Eddie)
Tom Jennings (Slake)

Alternative Titles

Mad Max – Jenseits der Donnerkuppel – West Germany
Mad Max – ukkosmyrsky – Finland
Mad Max 3
Mad Max 3. – Az Igazság csarnokán innen és túl – Hungary
Mad Max Além da Cúpula do Trovão – Portugal
Mad Max bortom Thunderdome – Sweden
Mad Max i la cúpula del tro – Spain (Catalan)
Mad Max i tordenkuplen – Denmark
Mad Max oltre la sfera del tuono – Italy
Mad Max, más allá de la cúpula del trueno – Spain
Mad Max: au-delà du dôme du tonnerre – France

Sequel to
Mad Max (1979)
Mad Max 2 (1981)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

See also
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
The Atomic Cafe (1982)
Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
Chicken Run (2000)
Heavy Metal (1981)
Liar Liar (1997)

Extracts included in
40,000 Years of Dreaming (1996)
Spécial Mad Max (1985)


Starburst no.89 (1985) p.10
It is altogether a much more polished version of the blood and thunder, ‘not so much sex but plenty of violence' type of film we all relish watching with our cups of cocoa last thing at night […] A thoroughly enjoyable yarn which seemed more comfortable with the big screen than its predecessors […] As violent films go , and this is hardly as violent as the original, it makes a refreshing change from all the recent paranoid American patriotic soup we've been dished up with lately. – David Dupont

Cinefantastique vol.15 no.5 (January 1986) p.54
Despite a few wrong turns […] Thunderdome is a remarkable film fully deserving of any overused superlatives and four-star ratings posted on its advertising […] An Australian science fiction film directed by George Miller and George Ogilvie. Beyond Thunderdome is no mere sequel lunging forward on inertia alone, the latest Mad Max is an enchanting continuation of an authentic modern saga.” – Thomas Doherty

Film Quarterly vol.40 no.3 (Spring 1987) p.59
The film is not only a clever send-up of religious impulses in general, but also of the contemporary tendency to incarnate such impulses in media stars and to create wish-fulfilment fantasies where traditional beliefs have long since failed […] Miller's films constitute a wholesome (if somewhat outré) tonic for young people during a period when mass culture is producing its most reactionary, mindless drivel. – Christopher Sharrett



  • Australian Video and Cinema (August 1985) pp.20-21 – illustrated article
  • The Best of Starlog vol.6 pp.67 – 69 – illustrated article (reprinted from Starlog no.96 (July 1985))
  • The Best of Starlog vol.7 – illustrated interview with Mel Gibson
  • Cinefantastique vol.15 no.5 (January 1986) pp.36, 54 – illustrated review (by Thomas Doherty)
  • Fangoria no.30 p.60 – illustrated article
  • Fangoria no.41 p.63 – illustrated article
  • Fangoria no.47 – illustrated article
  • Fangoria no.50 pp.16-19; 51-52 – illustrated article
  • Fantastic Films no.44 (June 1985) pp.36-37 – illustrated preview
  • Fantastic Films no.45 (September 1985) – illustrated article
  • Fantastic Films no.46 (October 1985) pp.24-29 – illustrated article
  • Film Quarterly vol.40 no.3 (Spring 1987) p.59 – review (by Christopher Sharrett)
  • Journal of Popular Film and Television vol.27 no.3 (Autumn 1999) pp.28-34 – article
  • Jet 29 July 1985 pp.28-30 – illustrated article
  • Kinema no.8 (Autumn 1997) pp.57-75 – article
  • Metal Hurlant no.110 pp.46-61 – illustrated article
  • Movie no.85 no.3 (1985) pp.4-5 – article
  • Official Collector's Edition Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Souvenir Magazine – illustrated articles
  • Positif no.298 (December 1985) pp.26-27, 28-37 – illustrated interview with George Miller (Entretien avec George Miller by Michel Ciment); illustrated review (Une modernité messianique – Mad Max au dela du dôme du tonnere by Hubert Niogret)
  • Première September 1985 p.6 – review (by Philippe Salanches)
  • SF Movie Land no.31 (July 1985) pp.32-37, 54 – illustrated article
  • SF Movie Land no.33 (September 1985) pp.13-15, 64 – illustrated article
  • SF Movie Land no.35 (November 1985) – illustrated article
  • Starburst no.89 (1985) p.10 – illustrated review (It's Only a Movie by David Dupont)
  • Starlog no.95 – illustrated article
  • Starlog no.96 (July 1985) pp.19-21 – illustrated interview with Tina Turner
  • Starlog no.97 (August 1985) – illustrated interview with Mel Gibson
  • Starlog no.98 (September 1985) – illustrated article
  • Starlog no.99 (October 1985) – illustrated article
  • Starlog Poster Magazine Volume 5 – illustrated article; poster of Mel Gibson
  • Starlog Poster Magazine Volume 6 – illustrated article; poster of Tina Turner
  • Starlog SF Visual Magazine no.81 (July 1985) pp.11-21 – illustrated article
  • Truckin' Life vol.24 no.3 (April 2001) pp.26-29 – illustrated interview with Dennis Williams
  • TV Star 16 August 1985 pp.2-3 – illustrated article
  • TV Week 5 May 1985 p.10 – illustrated article
  • TV Week 21 September 1985 pp.6-7 – illustrated article


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.394; 395
  • Australian Film 1978-1994: A Survey of Theatrical Features compiled and edited by Scott Murray p.189 – illustrated credits, synopsis
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.343
  • Hoffman's Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.222 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.303
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.102
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film , Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.323-324
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.70 – credits, review