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.
Besides internal on-set conflicts, William Friedkin said that approximately fifty people "had to leave the film for either injury or gangrene," as well as food poisoning and malaria. In The Friedkin Connection he added that "almost half the crew went into the hospital or had to be sent home." Friedkin himself lost fifty pounds (23 kg) and was stricken with malaria, which was diagnosed after the film's premiere. 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 »
He robbed my church, shot my brother. I don't care where he is or what it costs. I want his ass.
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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 »
Try to clear your mind of the fact that "The Wages of Fear" exists as a previous French movie. I've seen it and its a great movie on its own merits. Would it be better if Sorcerer had not been made so that Wages would have its pristine place in the film pantheon. No, it would not.
I saw Sorcerer in a movie theater when it first came out (having seen and like Friedkin's two earlier films) and was knocked for a loop. I wonder how many of the reviewers here who disparage Sorcerer have only seen it on a TV screen.
Because, I gotta tell you, some parts of this movie seen on the widescreen are mind blowing. Getting that truck (which just about has a personality of its own) across that rope bridge during what looks like a hurricane has to be one of the most intense moments in cinema history. What they pull off in that scene looks patently impossible. And without a speck of CGI.
One of the great adventure movies.
The score by Tangerine Dream ("kings of the German synthesizer") is spellbinding. (For another great TD-drenched movie, see Michael Mann's Thief.) And it has one of the late Roy Scheider's greatest performances.
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