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

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Thriller  |  16 February 1955 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 30,972 users  
Reviews: 132 user | 113 critic

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

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) (as H.G. Clouzot) , 1 more credit »
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Top 250 #169 | Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins. See more awards »

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Directors: Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
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Cast

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 ...
Smerloff
Antonio Centa ...
Camp Chief (as Centa)
Luis De Lima ...
Bernardo
Grégoire Gromoff
Joseph Palau-Fabre
Faustini
Seguna
Darling Légitimus ...
(as Miss Darling)
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Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Pictured in Life Magazine as Picture of the Week (original USA/Canada posters) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | | | |

Release Date:

16 February 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wages of Fear  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yves Montand and Charles Vanel both contracted conjunctivitis after filming in a pool of crude oil and being exposed to gas fumes. See more »

Goofs

When Mario throws a stone at Jo's face, although he stands at a higher lever, the stone seems to hit Jo's face from below. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Ice Cold in Alex (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube
Composed by Johann Strauß
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An unforgettable bit of existentialism on exposed celluloid
3 July 2001 | by (Oberhausen, Germany) – See all my reviews

Whoever it may be to rightly claim that he invented the action thriller genre (Méliès, I suppose), Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Le salaire de la peur" is an indispensable milestone on the exciting route to the best films of that kind in the 70's, 80's and nowadays. In its tenseness, as symbolized by the danger of explosion of the lorries' loads, it has hardly been surpassed.

The plot is perfectly worked out from start to end, the leading players act in some of their best parts ever, the (almost) absence of music supports the brutal realism and the consequent choice of authentic outdoor settings contributed a lot to the film's deserved success. Historically, it ranges between neorealismo and nouvelle vague, and yet it is its pure action and suspense that make it worth watching for younger audiences who wouldn't go in for just the artistic way. - Only flaw I can see is the curious, rather artificial change in Vanel's character which has no comprehensible motivation, at least for me whenever I see it.

Apart from that, Clouzot's wife Véra (also well-known from his "Les diaboliques") plays to the "most breathtaking angles" gallery when she bows down to scrub the floor of Dario Moreno's gin joint. It's a man's world after all and there are male perspectives on human survival only. Well, it's existentialism, mates. Altogether, the black and white photography is gripping. The gun scene between Lulli and Vanel is one of the best montages in film history, and there is more excellent editing in "Salaire" (including the finale) that completely fits the hot atmosphere.


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