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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)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 31,800 users  
Reviews: 135 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 250 Movies #172 | 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


Pictured in Life Magazine as Picture of the Week (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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Henri-Georges Clouzot originally planned on shooting the film in Spain, but Yves Montand refused to work in Spain as long as fascist dictator Francisco Franco was in power. Filming took place instead in the south of France, near Saint-Gilles, in the Camargue. The village seen in the film was built from scratch. See more »


Near the end of the film, when Jo is leaning against Mario in the cab of the truck, the oil smear on Mario's right cheek changes between shots. 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

2 November 2004 | by (Torrance, California) – See all my reviews

This movie is a true masterpiece in every way! When I rented the DVD and read the story it sounded familiar, because I had watched the newer version before in color with Roy Scheider, which was good as well. But watching the original film truly blew me away. This movie is well made in every detail. It puts a lot of detail-work in the creation of the characters, and once you think that is over and the "regular action-part" starts, it becomes even better and the story takes a 90 degree turn! After I had finished watching the entire movie, I needed at least 5 minutes just to "digest" it and rethink this fantastic film. If you got a chance to watch it, don't miss it! It is entertaining from the first to the last minute!

75 of 100 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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