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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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Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   25,766 votes »
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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Georges Arnaud (novel)
Henri-Georges Clouzot (adaptation) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Wages of Fear on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 February 1955 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The complete restored version of the 1953 French classic [reissue] See more »
Plot:
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 » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Macho naturalism extraordinaire See more (124 total) »

Cast

  (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
Faustini
Seguna
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)
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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
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le salaire de la peur" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
131 min | France:156 min | 148 min (director's cut) | West Germany:150 min
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric)
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Final film of William Tubbs.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The truck is clean after driving through oil.See more »
Quotes:
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 »
Soundtrack:
The Blue DanubeSee more »

FAQ

Why do they have to carry the nitroglycerin to that plant?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What caused the nitro to explode?
See more »
98 out of 131 people found the following review useful.
Macho naturalism extraordinaire, 7 May 2002
Author: Dennis Littrell from United States

This is an extraordinary movie. From the opening scene showing the squalor of a Latin American town with filth and vultures in the street and naked children begging for food amid the oppressive, fly-stirred heat, to the finale on a winding mountain road, it is just plain fascinating. True, some of the action does not bear close scrutiny. One does not siphon nitroclycerine nor does one avoid potholes or bumps in the road by driving at forty miles per hour. No matter. Let's allow a little license. And the title doesn't entirely make sense because the wages of sin are death, but the wages of those who followed their fear and did not seek to drive a nitroclycerine truck over 300 miles of bad road are life. Again, no matter.

This is such an original movie, every scene like little or nothing you've ever seen before (and for sure will never see again), that the little inconsistencies and some stretching of what is possible are not important. This is man against nature, man against himself reduced to a simple task. It is life in the raw. One mistake and you are dead.

Yves Montand has the lead as Mario, a Frenchman stranded in this god-forsaken town with only one way out: get enough money to pay for airfare. Charles Vanel is the older, tin-horn dandy who ends up with a case of the shakes. Peter Van Eyck is the man with the nerves of steel who finds this little adventure a piece of cake after forced labor in the salt mines for the Nazis. And Folco Lulli is Luigi, the happy, singing baker who hopes to return to Italy with the two thousand dollars they are paying him to drive the nitro-loaded truck.

This is a film depicting the primitive nature of a macho mentality. There's a lot of posturing. Every event is a potential test of manhood. Status and privilege are flouted. The weak and the poor do not inherit the earth.

Henri-Georges Clouzet directs and somehow manages to come up with a work of genius. One wonders how. The story, on the face of it, would seem to belong in the slush pile of a ten-cent pulp fiction mag from the 1930's. The acting is good, very good in places, but not great. The cinematography is straightforward, but nonetheless very effective. It is lean and focused always, showing us what needs to be seen without drawing attention to itself: the invisible style, which is the best. Clouzet's direction is characterized by a vivid depiction of things that we can feel: the mud and filth in the streets, the desperation and the boredom, the cruelty and meanness of men, the oil on their bodies, the singular fact of a ton of nitro in the back seat so that every move is a neuron-exposing adventure. I think that the visceral experience from beginning to end and the fine pacing are the essence of what makes this a great film.

Clouzet's wife, Vera Clouzet, plays Linda who first appears scrubbing the floor in an open-air bistro. She is rather extraordinary herself, finely made up and creamy white like a star of the silent film era. She grovels a lot, especially for Mario. She provides the counter-point, the contrast for the testosterone action of the movie.

No student of film should miss this. It would be like missing Citizen Kane or Dr. Strangelove or especially The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which it vaguely and strangely resembles. "La salaire de la peur" is, regardless of its flaws, one of the best ever made.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)

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A typical popcorn action film llallaco
Smerloff? (SPOILER) Bellator86
Was Mario remorseful? (spoiler) emeyerzon
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Why is this film so highly praised? ulrika333
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