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 32,459 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


"TREMENDOUS! BRILLIANT! SUPREME! "...N. Y. Times (original USA/Canada poster 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?


Film shown in Enterprise S1 E21 "Vox Sola", the crew watches "old movies" to relax on their space voyages. See more »


In the bar M. Jo puts down a bottle of champagne on the table. It's almost completely full. Luigi then picks it up, while it's still full. However, when he stands up and threatens M. Jo with it, it's empty. See more »


Dick: When I was a kid, I used to see men go off on this kind of jobs... and not come back. When they did, they were wrecks. Their hair had turned white and their hands were shaking like palsy! You don't know what fear is. But you'll see. It's catching, it's catching like small pox! And once you get it, it's for life! So long, boys, and good luck.
See more »


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User Reviews

A brilliant thriller. One of the most suspenseful and exciting movies ever made!
3 February 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Clouzot rarely gets the attention he deserves. He made not one, but two of the greatest thrillers of all time, 'Les Diaboliques' and 'The Wages Of Fear', both perfect examples of how to make genuinely suspenseful movies that build up an amazing amount of tension. Most so-called thrillers made in Hollywood these days are thrillers in name only and could learn a lesson or two from these movie classics. 'The Wages Of Fear' could even be described as an action movie, but it is a CHARACTER DRIVEN action movie, and that's what makes it so special. Modern audiences with MTV attention spans might find the plot a little slow, but I think the first half of the movie, which deals with the motley collection of exiles in a poor Latin American town, is not only fascinating in itself, but really makes a massive impact on the second half. By taking his time introducing the characters and exploring their relationships and possible motivations, Clouzet adds depth and meaning to the rest of the exciting story, something very rarely achieved in this type of movie since. The cast, every single one of them, are flawless. The four leads, Mario, the fairly decent guy played by yves Montand, his new best friend the shifty M. Jo (Charles Vanel), his old pal the kind hearted Luigi (Folco Lulli), and the enigmatic Bimba (Peter van Eyck), are all brilliant. Great performances, taut and imaginative direction, crisp and impressive cinematography, and a handful of the most riveting sequences ever committed to film make 'Wages Of Fear' a truly unforgettable experience. Suspense movies don't come much better than this! Simply a masterpiece.

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