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 film's location shooting was estimated to cost so much money that Universal Pictures partnered with Paramount Pictures to share expenses. William Friedkin and producer David Salven (who was his associate producer for The Exorcist (1973)) had frequent clashes regarding the expensive location shoots. Friedkin eventually fired Salvin and took the producer credit for himself. See more »
In the wide shots of the trucks crossing the bridge you can see the tow cables/anchor lines to the bridge going in and out of the water as the bridge rocks back and forth. 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 »
Being a huge fan of Friedkin,i wanted to see "sorcerer" for a long time;after several months of researches,at last,i could on an old videotape and ,immediately,it emerged as one of the best movies i've ever seen.I must be one of the rare who don't consider it's title so inapropriate,even it's been chosen for obvious commercial reasons (the exorcist/the sorcerer).The sorcerer,it's this fate which gathers 4 men of 4 different countries together;they have nothing in common but will be obliged to collaborate for the same reason;it's too an evil nature which,a little bit like in "deliverance",seems to make everything it cans to make the mission fail.There's a subtext ,"man vs nature",which, from Friedkin's words,was wanted from the beginning,and that,to my mind, considerably enhances the film. The systematic comparisons between the 52's version and this one don't appear to me valuables;i prefer seeing it more as a second adaptation of Arnaud's novel than as a remake.In fact,it's much more close to "the treasure of the sierra madre": the painful irony of the ending and Scheider with his hat looks exactly like Bogart.According to me,even it's a good flick,the original version is very-too much?-faithful to the novel and so,quite easy to foresee (for instance,before the mission, one of the truck is sabotaged so we're sure it's gonna explode at a moment or another). One said,including Friedkin,it bombed the box-office because was no star like Steve mc Queen to attract the audience,but nothing is less sure;first of all,it's unfair for Roy Scheider who previously starred in "the french connection" and "jaws" and was quite famous and,then,it's above all a question of concept:the audience of 77 didn't want to see that kind of movie anymore,-pessimistic,ironic,with an all-male cast and unhappy ending,-and was rather ready to enjoy Lucas and Spielberg's movies. I could speak highly of its qualities for hours: cast and crew,the work on the sound,the Tangerine dream's score,the sequence of the bridge,the surreal atmosphere of the last scenes,but it's already been described in other comments;let's say it's a very special,precious and unforgettable film to me.Hoping now there will have in next months a beautiful dvd edition like those of "to live and die in L.A.",and a serious rehearsal.It deserves it.
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