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Sorcerer (1977)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Thriller  |  24 June 1977 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,725 users  
Reviews: 105 user | 72 critic

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

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Sorcerer (1977)

Sorcerer (1977) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bruno Cremer ...
Victor Manzon - 'Serrano'
Francisco Rabal ...
Nilo
...
Kassem - 'Martinez'
Ramon Bieri ...
Corlette
Peter Capell ...
Lartigue
Karl John ...
'Marquez'
Friedrich von Ledebur ...
'Carlos' (as Fredrick Ledebur)
Chico Martínez ...
Bobby Del Rios (as Chico Martinez)
Joe Spinell ...
Spider
Rosario Almontes ...
Agrippa
Richard Holley ...
Billy White
Anne-Marie Deschodt ...
Blanche (as Anne Marie Descott)
Jean-Luc Bideau ...
Pascal
Jacques François ...
Lefevre (as Jacques Francois)
Edit

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's location shooting was estimated to cost so much money that Universal Pictures partnered with Paramount Pictures to share expenses. William Friedkin and producer David Salven (who was his associate producer for The Exorcist (1973)) had frequent clashes regarding the expensive location shoots. Friedkin eventually fired Salvin and took the producer credit for himself. See more »

Goofs

The monetary amount paid to the drivers is inconsistent throughout the film. The oil company first says they will pay "8,000 pesos to each driver". The driver's later demand double that amount (which would be 16,000 pesos). Later when Scanlon crosses the rope bridge he boasts that the two of them will get "double shares of 20,000 apiece" (double shares would actually be 32,000 apiece). At the end, Scanlon is given a check for 40,000 Dollars. See more »

Quotes

Nilo: Where are you from?
Scanlon: Listen Pancho, I've been clocking you every second you've been in this town. If you wanna pick your nose in this truck, you better clear it with me first, otherwise I'm taking you and this nitro right into a ditch!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the film as the last of the end credits scroll up, the music fades away and is replaced by the sound of an idling truck. See more »

Connections

Version of The Wages of Fear (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Spheres (Movement 3)
Performed by Keith Jarrett
Used under license from Polydor Incorporated and through the courtesy of ECM Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Essence of Film Storytelling
8 December 2003 | by (Nashville, TN) – See all my reviews

After _The French Connection_ and _The Exorcist_, William Friedkin made it three masterpieces in a row with this remake of the French classic _Wages of Fear_. As an exercise in pure cinematic storytelling, _Sorcerer_ may be the best film of the three Friedkin greats.

Structurally similar to the other two of his films, and working from a tough, bare-bones Walon Green script, Friedkin gives us all the back story we need in the first reel. Once the characters are brought together in the South American jungle, the film grabs you and doesn't let go until the final frame. The viewing experience is supremely visceral. You literally feel the tension as the four major characters and their two trucks loaded with nitro encounter and attempt to overcome the elements and some very rough terrain. Each scene is its own brilliant set piece. The film would work well as a silent movie, but the sound design and Tangerine Dream's musical score in themselves are among the film's towering achievements right along with the direction, cinematography and production design.

I'm perhaps the only one not put off by the film's allegedly inappropriate title. On the contrary, I think the title adds an element of mystery to the story -- as if trouble is being concocted by an unseen force acting upon the film's morally dubious main characters. It gives a demonic personality to the confluence of fate and dumb luck. The title also serves to give the film some added distance from the very fine Clouzot original.

The performances are all first-rate, if economic, and Roy Scheider stands out with some real tough-guy charisma. He also gets to wear the coolest hat this side of Gene Hackman's porkpie derby in _The French Connection_.


61 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Finally saw this, had some issues with the plot tpupkin
Any chance of a cinema screening soon? dvc5159
PAZUZU revscapegoat
This movie was boring and plain stupid. synapse256
Anybody agree with Friedkin? prohibited-name-2541
215 in chalk? famousmortimer-2
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