7.7/10
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117 user 88 critic

Sorcerer (1977)

Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jackie Scanlon - 'Juan Dominguez'
...
...
Nilo
...
Kassem - 'Martinez'
...
Corlette
...
Lartigue
...
'Marquez'
Friedrich von Ledebur ...
'Carlos' (as Fredrick Ledebur)
Chico Martínez ...
Bobby Del Rios (as Chico Martinez)
...
Spider
...
Agrippa
Richard Holley ...
Billy White
...
Blanche (as Anne Marie Descott)
Jean-Luc Bideau ...
Pascal
...
Lefevre (as Jacques Francois)
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Storyline

A group of outcasts from different backgrounds and nationalities are forced by misfortune to work in an oil-drilling operation in South America. When fire breaks out of control, four of the outcasts are given the opportunity to earn enough money to get out by transporting six crates of unstable dynamite through miles of jungle in two ancient trucks. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>, David Lee (dave@madebydave.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WANTED. Four men willing to drive a cargo of death to escape a life in hell. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

24 June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wages of Fear  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director William Friedkin initially wanted Steve McQueen to star in the film. McQueen accepted the part, but on one condition--he wanted a co-starring role for his then wife, Ali MacGraw. Friedkin would not accept his conditions, and McQueen dropped out of the film. Friedkin later went on record, regretting not accepting McQueen's conditions. He tried to get Clint Eastwood or Jack Nicholson, but neither wanted to travel at that time. He stated that casting Roy Scheider in the lead was the worst casting decision he has ever made. Although he felt Scheider is a good actor who did a great job, he is only interesting in a film as a "second or third banana, he's not a star." Amidou, who played the Arab Kassem/"Martinez", was Friedkin's only real first choice--all the other actors were "fourth, fifth and even sixth choices." See more »

Goofs

In the wide shots of the trucks crossing the bridge you can see the tow cables/anchor lines to the bridge going in and out of the water as the bridge rocks back and forth. See more »

Quotes

[after he has just killed Marquez]
Nilo: When the money's up, I'm just as good as any of you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The only opening credits at the beginning of the film are the studios' names followed by the film's graffiti style font title. Although by the late 1990's it was quite common to not have credits at the beginning of a film, in 1977 it was very unusual. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Thief: Truth-Telling Style: Michael Mann on 'Thief' (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet in F major
(uncredited)
Music by Maurice Ravel
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Original Is Good, This Is Better
31 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Here's one exception to the general rule or opinion that re-makes are not as good as the originals. This is even better than the 1953 "The Wages Of Fear."

"Sorcerer" (a better title might have helped in the status of this film) is divided into three segments. The first part deals with the various criminal acts committed by the four principal characters in their particular part of the world.

The second part shows the seedy life these criminals must now endure in a poor South American town after they are forced to flee their respective countries.

The third segment is the major part of the story. An oil well fire rages out of control and these men are selected to do something that can solve the problem, in exchange for enough money to get them out of that hellhole. The job: transport cans of extremely-volatile nitroglycerin in a truck in a harrowing 218-mile trek through jungle terrain to the site of the disaster.

This long segment is one of the most suspenseful and well-photographed scenes I've ever seen on film. This is good stuff, particularly for the first-time viewer. There are some amazing scenes that just about wear you out.

Added to the no-nonsense story directed by one of the best, William Friedkin, is some unique electronic music by "Tangerine Dream." If you are thinking of the kids watching, there is no sex and very little profanity but some of the violence is very bloody.


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