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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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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:
The kind of film that instantly announces that it's the best of its kind See more (135 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?

Yves Montand's first dramatic role.See more »
Continuity: The truck is clean after driving through oil.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 »
Movie Connections:
Remade as Sorcerer (1977)See more »
The Blue DanubeSee more »


What are the differences between the old Theatrical Versions and the Uncensored Version?
Is this movie based on a book?
Why do they have to carry the nitroglycerin to that plant?
See more »
52 out of 78 people found the following review useful.
The kind of film that instantly announces that it's the best of its kind, 2 December 2001
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia

This is richer, tenser, more atmospheric, and in all ways a better film than Clouzot's next one, "Les Diabolique" - which is saying a lot. I've never understood why Clouzot isn't more highly regarded. Indeed, for a long time I simply couldn't believe that he wasn't.

One charge that hangs over his head is misogyny. With regards to "Les Diabolique" this is simply ridiculous; with regards to "The Wages of Fear", I can see how one could harbour the uncomfortable feeling that there is, perhaps, something in it. But what, really, does the evidence amount to? The fact that one of the heroes is inexcusably cruel to his girlfriend? It's not as if the film endorses this, or invites us to take pleasure in it, or even, for that matter, allows us to. The characters are all flawed, and the film doesn't seek to deny it. It does, however, make an attempt to explain it. That town in the middle of nowhere is, we feel, really in the MIDDLE of nowhere; it must be the dustiest and most demoralising place on Earth. After a while we feel as if we could start kicking someone, just to break the monotony.

There's no doubt that the initial monotony gives the rest of the film half its strength. William Wyler once said that if you want to surprise or shock an audience the best thing you can do is bore them half to death beforehand - and although I can think of absolutely no reason why this should be so, allowing for a little exaggeration, it's true. The seemingly aimless opening sequences help make every single frame, from the moment the nitro-glycerin is mentioned, electric.

So much is, in retrospect, amazing. There's the way Clouzot manages to show us the humanity in these seemingly squalid people. (Even the oil magnate, just when we think he's the world's most heartless capitalist, reveals he has a heart with an unexpected remark, and yet the remark doesn't feel at all out of character - it's the kind of masterful characterisation film-goers live for.) Then there's the obstacles these drivers must face. All are memorable; most are so perfectly realised they deserve to be called mythic.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Wages of Fear (1953)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
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
imdb top 250 mjlangenbru
Bimba's age nedeljkodjukic88
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