Major Charles Rane comes back from the war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a war hero. Some greedy thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver ... See full summary »
Tommy Lee Jones,
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 <email@example.com>, David Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
William Friedkin's intention was not to create a remake, but to direct a film using only the same basic outline with completely original protagonists. He also wanted the film to be "grittier than Clouzot's [version], with the 'documentary feel' for which [he] had become known." Friedkin initially also wanted to get The Wages of Fear (1953) re-released in American theaters but could not convince any major studio to do so. He felt that American audiences had very limited exposure to the film and the English-speaking world in general was not very familiar with it. See more »
When Sorcerer is attempting to cross the dilapidated wooden bridge, a shot of the outermost log falling away is used twice. See more »
Friedkin's Swan Song before Sinking into Mediocrity
A remake of Henri-George Cluzot's 1953 film The Wages of Fear (also on DVD in a lovely Criterion Disc), this William Friedkin film stars Roy Scheider (at his weary, doomed finest) as one of four men exiled to an unnamed South American country by their mistakes and crimes. Trapped in squalor (and it's damn convincing looking squalor, too, far beyond the sunbaked black-and-white compositions of Wages of Fear; this film looks like it's leaving mud on your shoes), unable to return to the lives they abandoned, they're driven by circumstance to accept a normally unthinkable job. They have to drive old, unstable dynamite from its storage site hundreds of miles over mountain terrain and washed-out roads to the location of an oil well fire so the blaze can be snuffed out. The pay is exorbitant -- but it's commiserate to the danger. The risks are colossal ... and they ultimately have no choice.
Sorcerer is tense, suspenseful film-making at its finest; you become physically uncomfortably during this film thanks to the incredible sense that at any minute our heroes would literally be blown to hell. (I mean, we all walk around with the philosophical knowledge we could die at any moment, but talk about your concrete metaphors ... ) Friedkin creates a palpable sense of place, and Scheider is immensely powerful as a man whose every move suggests that he knows he's doomed. Taut with suspense, completely convincing and breathtakingly human, Sorcerer is an unfairly maligned film that delivers in every way.
And the Score is unique and nightmarish. A new DVD would be welcome to many happy fans.
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