The Wages of Fear (1953)
"Le salaire de la peur" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Thriller  |  16 February 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 32,439 users  
Reviews: 136 user | 114 critic

In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.


(novel), (adaptation) (as H.G. Clouzot) , 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #171 | Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
M. Jo
Folco Lulli ...
Bimba (as Peter Van Eyck)
Linda (as Vera Clouzot)
William Tubbs ...
Bill O'Brien
Darío Moreno ...
Hernandez (as Dario Moreno)
Jo Dest ...
Antonio Centa ...
Camp Chief (as Centa)
Luis De Lima ...
Grégoire Gromoff
Joseph Palau-Fabre
Darling Légitimus ...
(as Miss Darling)


In the South American jungle supplies of nitroglycerin are needed at a remote oil field. The oil company pays four men to deliver the supplies in two trucks. A tense rivalry develops between the two sets of drivers and on the rough remote roads the slightest jolt can result in death. Written by Col Needham <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Directed by HENRI GEORGE CLOUZOT who gave you "Le Corbeau" - "Jenny Lamour" and "Manon" (original USA/Canada posters) See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | | | |

Release Date:

16 February 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wages of Fear  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Body count: 5 on screen, plus 13 on the oil well disaster (as explained by one of the characters). See more »


As the truck leaves town, when Linda is seen from inside the truck cab, she casts a shadow on the projection screen behind her that is showing the passing houses. See more »


Bill O'Brien: The Hell with the Union! There's plenty of tramps in town, all volunteers. I'm not worried. To get that bonus, they'll carry the entire charge on their backs.
Bradley: You mean you're gonna put those bums to work?
Bill O'Brien: Yes, Mr. Bradley, because those bums don't have any union, nor any families. And if they blow up, nobody'll come around bothering me for any contribution.
See more »


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User Reviews

A gripping action film and a powerful study of failure
19 November 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

"The Wages of Fear" was awarded by unanimous verdict the Grand Prix at 1953 Cannes Film Festival where it won over 27 films, some of which were made by Jacques Tati, Alfred Hitchcock, and Luis Buñuel. Cluozot's own screenplay (based a novel by George Arnaud) focuses on four down-and-out European adventurers (Yves Montand, Folco Lulli, Peter Van Eyck, Charles Vanel) who stuck nearly penniless in a festering town in an unnamed South American country. An oil company need a load of highly dangerous and explosive nitroglycerin to be delivered to a remote well fire 300 miles away burning out of control. The route is through jungles and over crude and treacherous mountains and those men are desperate enough to take the chance. None of these men is heroic or generous, they are in for the money. The four were chosen by the managers of oil company because "if something happens to them, no one would care, they have nobody to worry about them". Henri-Georges Clouzot's view on humanity is not particularly optimistic but he finds a way to make a viewer care about disenchanted but desperate characters. Thanks to Clouzot's ability to create not only a gripping action film but a powerful study of failure, the four men will stay for long time in our memory.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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