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.
The only actor who was William Friedkin's original choice was the French-Moroccan Amidou, who played the Palestinian terrorist, Kassem. Friedkin was so impressed with his performance in Life Love Death (1969) that he wrote down his name immediately upon seeing the movie, expecting to collaborate with him one day. 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 »
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 »
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 »
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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