7.7/10
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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

After William Friedkin read Peter Gabriel's essay on the sleeve of the Genesis album 'Genesis Live', he wanted Gabriel to come up with concepts for a new film. "He was trying to put together a sci-fi film and he wanted to get a writer who'd never been involved with Hollywood before," Gabriel said in 1984. "We [Genesis] were working [on what would become Genesis' album 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway'] at Headley Grange... I would go bicycle to the phone box down the hill and dial Friedkin in California with pockets stuffed full of 10p pieces."

Gabriel asked if he could take a break from the album; the group refused to let him. "Friedkin freaked when he heard he could be responsible for breaking up the band," Hackett says. "Pete came back to it."

With both Charisma boss Tony Stratton-Smith and Tony Smith working out a middle ground for the group, Gabriel ultimately did not work on Friedkin's project, which became Sorcerer.

Source: 'I was aware there was something going on with Peter', prog.teamrock.com, 22 May 2015 See more »

Goofs

One of the soldiers killed by Nilo is seen breathing and moving after dead. See more »

Quotes

Father Ricci: Do you know who's parish this is?
Donnelly: Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!
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

Version of Robert Montgomery Presents: Wages of Fear (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet in F major
(uncredited)
Music by Maurice Ravel
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_.


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