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Le salaire de la peur
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The Wages of Fear (1953) More at IMDbPro »Le salaire de la peur (original title)

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The Wages of Fear -- In a squalid South American oil town, four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route. As they ferry their explosive cargo to a faraway oil fire, each bump and jolt tests their courage, their friendship, and their nerves.


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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Georges Arnaud (novel)
Henri-Georges Clouzot (adaptation) ...
View company contact information for The Wages of Fear on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 February 1955 (USA) See more »
The complete restored version of the 1953 French classic [reissue] See more »
In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A gripping action film and a powerful study of failure See more (136 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Yves Montand ... Mario

Charles Vanel ... M. Jo
Folco Lulli ... Luigi

Peter van Eyck ... Bimba (as Peter Van Eyck)

Véra Clouzot ... 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
Darling Légitimus (as Miss Darling)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
René Baranger ... (uncredited)
Pat Hurst ... (uncredited)
Evelio Larenagas ... (uncredited)
Jeronimo Mitchell ... Dick (uncredited)
Ricardo ... (uncredited)
François Valorbe ... (uncredited)
Rico Zermano ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Henri-Georges Clouzot 
Writing credits
Georges Arnaud (novel)

Henri-Georges Clouzot (adaptation and dialogue) (as H.G. Clouzot) and
Jérôme Géronimi (adaptation and dialogue) (as Jérome Geronimi)

Produced by
Raymond Borderie .... delegate producer (as R. Borderie)
Henri-Georges Clouzot .... delegate producer (as H.G. Clouzot)
Original Music by
Georges Auric 
Cinematography by
Armand Thirard 
Film Editing by
Madeleine Gug 
Etiennette Muse  (as E. Muse)
Henri Rust 
Art Direction by
René Renoux 
Set Decoration by
René Renoux 
Makeup Department
Georges Bouban .... makeup artist (as G. Bouban)
Production Management
Henri Jaquillard .... unit manager (as H. Jaquillard)
Lucien Lippens .... unit manager (as L. Lippens)
Louis Wipf .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michel Romanoff .... assistant director
Roberto Savarese .... assistant director: Italy
Art Department
Marc Desages .... assistant set decorator (as M. Desages)
Pierre Tyberghein .... assistant set decorator (as P. Tyberghien)
Sound Department
William Robert Sivel .... sound
Arthur Van der Meeren .... sound assistant (as A. Van Der Merren)
Pierre Zann .... sound assistant (as P. Zann)
Camera and Electrical Department
Lucienne Chevert .... still photographer
Jean Clouzot .... still photographer (as J. Clouzot)
Jean Dicop .... assistant camera (as Dicop)
Robert Florent .... assistant camera (as Florent)
Robert Juillard .... camera operator (as Robert Juilliard)
Jean Lallier .... camera operator (as J. Lallier)
Louis Née .... camera operator (as L. Née)
Bob Pater .... assistant camera (as Pater)
Music Department
Georges Auric .... musical director (uncredited)
Other crew
Charles Borderie .... general administrator
Favre .... studio manager
Lily Hargous .... script girl
Lemoigne .... studio manager
Vergne .... studio manager
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le salaire de la peur" - France (original title)
See more »
131 min | France:156 min | 148 min (director's cut) | West Germany:150 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric)
Australia:M | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Canada:14+ (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Finland:K-18 (DVD rating) | Japan:G (2014) | Norway:16 | South Korea:12 (2004) | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Body count: 5 on screen, plus 13 on the oil well disaster (as explained by one of the characters).See more »
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
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 »
The Blue DanubeSee more »


What caused the nitro to explode?
What are the differences between the old Theatrical Versions and the Uncensored Version?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
25 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
A gripping action film and a powerful study of failure, 19 November 2006
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA

"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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Wages of Fear (1953)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Bimba's age nedeljkodjukic88
The only thing good was the storyline. Rwwood48
On the ending... nedeljkodjukic88
A typical popcorn action film llallaco
The first half of the film... robokynotky-10280
That girl's unshaved armpits turned me on! shakurazz
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