George Miller lost interest in the project, after his friend and Producer Byron Kennedy was killed in a helicopter crash while location scouting. That may explain why Miller only handled the action scenes, while George Ogilvie handled the rest. The film is dedicated to Byron Kennedy.
The film was originally not a "Mad Max" film, but a post-apocalyptic "Lord of the Flies" film about a tribe of children who are found by an adult. It became the third Mad Max film when George Miller was suggested that Max is the man who finds the children.
Max's eyes are different; the pupil in his left eye is permanently dilated. This is a nod to Mad Max 2 (1981): When his car is forced off the road by Wez and Max crashes, he suffers a severe injury to, among other body parts, his left eye. The disparity is easier to see in close-ups, and very easy to see in high definition versions of the film. In the regular version, it's most prominent when Max first looks down on the Thunderdome.
The sandstorm at the end of the film was real, and a camera plane flew into it for some shots. The storm, in its entirety, hit the crew in the desert, forcing them to ride it out in their cars and wherever they could find cover.
The possible outcomes on the Wheel are: Death - Hard Labor - Acquittal - Gulag - Aunty's Choice - Spin Again - Forfeit Goods - Underworld - Amputation - Life Imprisonment.
Max's name is only spoken once in the movie. Just after he meets Master Blaster in underworld. Master says "Who you?", Max replies "Me Max".
Tina Turner had to shave her head for her wig to fit properly. She reportedly had no problem with that.
The script called for Aunt Entity drive a vehicle. All of the vehicles were built using manual transmissions, which Tina Turner couldn't drive, so a car equipped with an automatic transmission had to be constructed.
George Miller was given the rights to Mad Max 2 (1981) and this film to get him to step aside as the director of Contact (1997).
In interviews about Mad Max 2 (1981), George Miller said that while Max's world was after the collapse of the social/political/economic system we know, it was not post-World War III. However, per Dr. Dealgood's introduction in the Thunderdome, this film is explicitly set after a war, though not necessarily World War III.
Aunty Entity's (Tina Turner) steel mail dress weighed more than 121 pounds (55 kilograms).
The poster art for this film was one of the last done by Richard Amsel.
Tina Turner's character is billed as Aunty Entity, but nowhere in the film does anyone call her that. She's always referred to as just Aunty.
When Max first meets Aunty, a saxophone is heard playing, the camera then reveals that the music is not the soundtrack, but happening within the movie itself, as one of Aunty's men is playing it. This is a nod to Mad Max (1979), where Max's wife, playing the saxophone, is revealed in the same way.
Two directors were hired, so that George Miller could concentrate on the stunts and action scenes, while George Ogilvie handled the performances of the large cast of actors.
Jane Fonda was considered for Aunty Entity.
The first of the franchise made with U.S. financing, which explains why Tina Turner appeared in the film.
There were six hundred pigs in Underworld. Buying that many could have hurt the pork market, so they rented them from a pig farmer.
The film references a novel by Russell Hoban called "Riddley Walker" about a hero traveling in post-apocalyptic England.
Jedidiah's airplane is a Transavia PL-12 "Airtruk", a single-engine agricultural biplane designed by Transavia in Australia. First flown in 1965, around one hundred twenty had been built by the time this movie was made.
The only film of the Mad Max franchise to earn a PG-13 rating.
Directorial film debut of George Ogilvie, who shares credits with George Miller. Prior to the film, Ogilvie directed two television miniseries.
The film takes place fifteen years after the previous film Mad Max 2 (1981), which took place five years after Mad Max (1979). This makes this film take place twenty years after the first one.
The kids spent two months in workshops, learning to hunt, climb, and use primitive weapons.
This is the first Mad Max film in which Max uses a firearm other than a shotgun. As an MFP officer in Mad Max (1979), Max carried a revolver, but always reached for a shotgun - including his iconic sawed-off shotgun - when the need for a weapon arose. In Mad Max 2 (1981), Max only used the sawed-off shotgun.
The working title of the movie, to keep it secret, was Desert World.
The vehicles from the movie went on tour in 1985, appearing in car shows around Australia.
Max's shotgun differs in this movie from the one he used in Mad Max (1979) and Mad Max 2 (1981), which was his duty weapon. This one has exposed hammers and a different grip.
When Max is giving up his weapons in Bartertown, he gives up Wez's wrist crossbow from Mad Max 2 (1981), which he probably retrieved after Wez was killed by a truck.
Casting director Alison Barrett scoured Australian schools for this tribe of sixty kids, from twenty months, to sixteen years old.
The film's theme, "We Don't Need Another Hero", sung by Tina Turner, reached number two on the U.S. charts, number three on the UK charts, and number one in Australia, in the summer of 1985. The song was recorded in London, England, with a backing choir from Kings House School containing, amongst others, a then twelve year old Lawrence Dallaglio. Dallaglio would go on to be a hugely successful rugby union player in England, playing domestically for Wasps RFC, and a member of the English World Cup winning side in 2003.
This was Helen Buday's first movie.
It is a popular misbelief, that the vehicle Max is seen driving at the beginning, and end of the film, is based on a Ford F-150. However, a modified early to mid '70s model Australian Ford Fairlane ZF-ZG was used as the base vehicle. Although the exterior of the car has been heavily modified, the vehicle is identified through the remaining pieces of the cars interior. These include a curved dashboard and ignition switch, along with steering column positioning (common style of Australian Ford model's between the years 1971 to 1976,) Along with the a ZG seat trim and steering wheel. This can be confirmed through close-ups of the interior during the final chase sequence. The ZG Fairlane shares a very similar body style, chassis and engine [351 cubic inch, (5.7 liter) Cleveland V8] to Max's original yellow Interceptor used in "Mad Max." Making all three of the main vehicles used by Max in each film a similar variation of each other (Australian Model Ford V8, mid '70s Sedan, Coupe).
Co-screenwriter Terry Hayes said that: "Bartertown is a heightened version of our world (today)."
It was rumored, that the sequel, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) takes place after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985). However, in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985), Max is about forty years old, and in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Max is in his mid 30s.
In Australia this film is simply referred to as "Mad Max 3". There are four films in the franchise, so far. Mad Max (1979) is the first. The second film, Mad Max 2 (1981), was released in the United States as simply The Road Warrior (released and referred to as Mad Max 2 in Australia). It was not marketed as a Mad Max film upon its American release, for fear of its foreign credentials hurting its U.S. box-office. This has caused confusion for Americans who thought it was just a stand alone film, but it is definitely the second in the Mad Max franchise, all produced and directed by George Miller. IMDB now lists the second film as "The Road Warrior". Quentin Tarantino, a teenager when it was released, accidentally calls it "The Road Warrior", before correcting himself and calling it "Mad Max 2" in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008), which explored Australian exploitation cinema. The recently released Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) is the fourth in the franchise, and the first to not star Mel Gibson.
Robert Grubbs had worked with Mel Gibson before on Gallipoli (1981).
Adam Cockburn (Jedediah Jr.) is presently a talented club laser lighting creator and DJ. He has also done a remix to the film's theme song by Tina Turner "We don't need another hero (thunder done.")
Final movie of Angelo Rossitto, whose career lasted nearly sixty years.
Tina Turner previously appeared in Tommy (1975), which also involved a character named "Captain Walker".
Since this movie, the term "Pig Killer" has come to mean "an outcast living on the edge of society."
All of the pigs in the film foreshadow George Miller's involvement with Babe (1995).
The kids assume Max to be the savior who brings them to the civilization known as "Tomorrow-morrow Land." The film Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (2015) released just one week after the next installment Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
George Miller decided to tone down the violence in the film due to the nature of the story and it felt it was right the film being violent.
When Max first meets "the pig killer" they pass another prisoner who is Charlie from the original Mad Max (the police man who gets injured and has to speak with a voice box.)
The whistle that Max uses to temporarily disable Blaster is a sailor's Boatswain's pipe still used on navy ships today.
It is the Thunderdome fights in this film inspired the late professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes to propose and introduce a distinctive wrestling match format known as the War Games match. In this type of match, two teams consisting of five wrestlers each fight in a double-joined ring surrounded by locked steel cages. The first two opponents will fight for five minutes before the next wrestler is released from a cell. While it is by convention the next wrestler is chosen by a coin toss or by the ABAB form, usually the wrestler from the heel faction will be released first, in order to generate more heat from the audience. Subsequently a wrestler will be released from his cage after every two minutes. A team can win either by submission, making the opponent quit or knocking out an opponent unconscious (the pinfall victory was allowed much later on), while escaping from the cell results in a disqualification for that team. The match was first premiered in National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) on 4 July 1987 and was held on certain road shows. Between the years from 1993 to 2000 (except 1999), the match was held at World Championship Wrestling (WCW) annually during the start of autumn, at the September PPV event known as Fall Brawl. However, this form of match would not be shown again (while they are format spin-offs introduced during the gap) until being reintroduced on an annual basis in November 2017 (the Saturday before Thanksgiving week) by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s NXT division own PPV NXT:Takeover War Games.
George Miller had planned to make a Mad Max television series, but the television series never got made.
George Miller had planned to bring Mad Max to the small screen and started developing a television series based on the Mad Max films and that he wanted Jon Blake whom he had worked with on Cool Change (1986) to star in the series. But, Jon Blake's acting career ended when he sustained permanent brain damage in a auto accident and the Mad Max television series never got made.
A scene was filmed but cut which Max has a nightmare about his wife Jesse and his son Sprog and he wakes up and he starts crying and begins to realize that he has become like the motorcycle gang that murdered his family. The deleted scene was in the novelization by Joan D. Vinge but the footage of the deleted scene is missing.
Bob Hornery (The Waterseller) had appeared in an episode of Doctor Who (1963) (TV Series). Both Doctor Who and The Mad Max movies are influenced by the Western genre.
Like all movies, the film has 3 acts: Act I - Max arrives in Bartertown. Act 2 - Max is rescued by the children and Act 3 - Max returns to Bartertown with the children.
Two scenes were cut from the film to bring down the running time. In the first, Max dreams of his murdered wife and son, wakes up and cries. He realizes he's become just as bad as the animals he used to hunt down as a cop. The other, is Max takes a dying gekko to the top of a sand dune at night, sees the lights of Bartertown, and tells him they've reached Tomorrow-Morrow Land. A few seconds of this scene are included in the music video for Tina Turner's "We Don't Need Another Hero."
The film was intended to be the final chapter of the "Mad Max' franchise, with Mel Gibson bowing out of the role of Max, and ending with Max regaining his humanity and walking away into the sunset, and so it was, until George Miller made the third sequel, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
Terry Hayes has said that the filmmakers considered killing Max off.
It is unexplained on why Max did not kill Blaster in the film. It's possible Blaster reminded Max of Benno, the autistic farmhand who was living at May Swaisey's farm in Mad Max (1979) when Jesse and Sprog were murdered by The Toecutter and his motorcycle gang, or there may have still had been humanity left in Max, and Max felt it was wrong and inhumane to kill the mentally disabled Blaster. Some believe that Benno and Blaster are the same character, despite being played by different actors, and it's possible Benno may have survived the nuclear war.
We never learn the fate of the Mel Gibson incarnation of Max.
It's unclear why Auntie Entity didn't kill Max at the end of the movie: Auntie may have let him live out of respect as survivors of the nuclear war.