William Friedkin, USA, 1977, DCP, 121′


Four foreigners, fugitives from the law wanted in their countries, take on a deadly mission to drive a convoy of explosive nitroglycerin through a treacherous South American jungle. William Friedkin’s adaptation of the Georges Arnaud novel The Wages of Fear (previously filmed by Henri Georges-Clouzot) was a critical failure on its initial release. For decades Friedkin’s film maudit, is today rightfully considered an indisputable masterpiece.

“Though critically reviled (how dare Friedkin remake The Wages of Fear!) upon its initial release (except for the lone voice of Jack Kroll in Newsweek), Sorcerer is in fact superior to both its model and the novel from which both are loosely taken. /…/ Friedkin is the poet of frustration, also fully realised in The French Connection, but here despair and futility have an unusual physical manifestation as the men tug, plow, drive, bang, and hack their way through their environment. /…/ Tangerine Dream’s driving, yet oft-times also poignant, music is beautifully matched to the relentless surge of the two nitro-burdened trucks but also to the beauty of the landscape and the tones of the men’s various emotional states.”
– D.K. Holm, Film Soleil

Image courtesy of Park Circus/Paramount