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Sorcerer (1977)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,810 users  
Reviews: 98 user | 61 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)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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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)
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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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

24 June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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 rather odd watch worn by the demolitions man who demonstrates the danger of stale dynamite is a Bulova Accuquartz "Big Block" LED watch. Forerunners of contemporary digital timekeeping, the numerals were displayed as luminescent red figures. See more »

Goofs

When Sorcerer is attempting to cross the dilapidated wooden bridge, a shot of the outermost log falling away is used twice. See more »

Quotes

Corlette: [Corlette is observing Scanlon's truck-driving technique] Teamsters?
Scanlon: Greyhound.
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 Bruce, King of Kung Fu (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Spheres (Movement 3)
Performed by Keith Jarrett
Used under license from Poludor 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_.


55 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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