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.
Cinematographer Dick Bush found William Friedkin so demanding and difficult to work with that he left the film halfway through. Friedkin used second unit cinematographer John M. Stephens for the remaining production. Both received screen credit. 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 »
In the end credits, Roy Scheider isn't even listed. All the other main actors are there but not Scheider. 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 »
this film is called what?
More than anything this was a fascinating watch, coupled with reading the IMDb trivia afterward as well as the letter from William Friedkin that came with the Warner Blu-Ray package.
Definitely a bit of a time capsule action/suspense movie, much more drawn out and methodical than anything you'd see today. One to struggle with exposition that doesn't slap me in the face with explicit clarity I found the first act a slog, even if theatrically beautiful.
In keeping with the '70s fascination with the anti-hero, not one character in Sorcerer is remotely likable, which works for the gritty, existential, survivalist tone of the film. The Tangerine Dream score was so far ahead of its time; I thought it was an early '80s film rather than one made in 1976. It might have seemed jarringly misplaced for the film's visuals and geographic setting but hey, it's Tangerine flipping Dream.
Warner's restoration of the print and the soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal, the latter mainly evident in the numerous explosions and storm-drenched bridge crossing scenes. From what it sounds, the production was a grueling nightmare fraught with setbacks and resulted in a financial bust ($21b production budget, $9b box office take). I just wish we had a commentary and some extras on the disc, even if just retrospective interviews.
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