A fictional retelling of the infamous Brink's Company robbery in Boston, which took place on January 17th, 1950, with a score of $2.700.000, and cost the American taxpayers $29.000.000 to apprehend the culprits with only $58.000 recovered.
A gangster, a crooked banker, a hitman and an arab terrorist are stranded and on the run in a small village in South America. Their only chance of escape is to drive two trucks filled with unstable nitroglycerin up a long and rocky mountain road in order to plug an escalating oil refinery blaze. With their deadly cargo likely to explode at the slightest bump, the four men must put aside their differences and work together to survive.
Sid Sheinberg suggested Roy Scheider for the lead role. He had previously worked with William Friedkin on The French Connection (1971). However, they had lost contact after Friedkin-at William Peter Blatty's insistence-had refused to cast Scheider as Father Karras in The Exorcist (1973). With Universal unenthusiastic about the project, acquiring Scheider, who had recently enjoyed enormous success in Jaws (1975) made the studio more hopeful and inclined to let the film materialize. Production notes on the 1998 Universal DVD release tell a different story, noting that the casting of Scheider as Scanlon/Dominguez was a "foregone conclusion" and "the ideal (perhaps the only) choice for the role". See more »
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 »
[Discussing using a helicopter to transport the nitro]
Well, what do you think?
Well the main problem is the vibration. This thing is like a damn egg-beater, no matter how we shock mount something it'll still have a severe lateral vibration.
I thought maybe you could swingload it on a pallet.
About twenty feet down there'd be no vibration, but then the problem is turbulence, you might move it a half mile that way but not 200, never had a flight around here without some turbulence.
What are you ...
[...] See more »
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 »
The European version of the film was re-edited and shortened by CIC, the European distributor, without director William Friedkin's permission. The prologue sequences set in New York, Paris, Vera Cruz and Israel that show what happened to the main characters and why they had to flee to South America, were changed to flashbacks running throughout the film. See more »
Spheres (Movement 3)
Performed by Keith Jarrett
Used under license from Polydor Incorporated and through the courtesy of ECM Records See more »
Friedkin's 3rd best film
An underrated film with a typically stellar Roy Scheider performance, an eerie Tangerine Dream soundtrack, and brilliant visuals. This film's reputation suffers from its inexplicable title and unfavorable comparisons to the original. But it's useless to compare since this film is an altogether different beast. Friedkin gives it his usual nihilist/fatalist/existential stamp, making it a much darker film than the French version. Very suspenseful and well-made. Made by Friedkin at the height of his powers. His third best film after Exorcist and French Connection.
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