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Wages of Fear (Criterion Collection) (Restored Edition (1953)

Cast: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter Van Eyck, more...
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Foreign, France, Criterion Collection
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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Synopsis
Together with Diabolique, The Wages of Fear (Le Salaire de la Peur) earned Henri-Georges Clouzot the reputation as a "French Hitchcock." In truth, Clouzot's ability to sustain suspense may have even exceeded Hitchcock's; when originally released, Wages ran 155 tension-filled minutes. Based on the much-imitated novel by Georges Arnaud, the film is set in Central America. The Southern Oil Company, which pretty much rules the roost in the impoverished village of Las Piedras, sends out a call for long-distance truck drivers. Southern Oil's wages of 2,000 dollars per man are, literally, to die for -- the drivers are obliged to transport highly volatile nitroglycerine shipments across some of the most treacherous terrain on earth. Through expository dialogue, tense interactions and flashbacks, we become intimately acquainted with the four drivers who sign up for this death-defying mission: Corsican Yves Montand, Italian Folco Lulli, German Peter Van Eyck, and Frenchman Charles Vanel. The first half of the film slowly, methodically introduces the characters and their motivations. The second half -- the drive itself -- is a relentless, goosebump-inducing assault on the audience's senses. The winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Festival, The Wages of Fear was remade by William Friedkin as Sorcerer (1977). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Bonus features:

  • New video interviews with assistant director Michel Romanoff and Henri-Georges Clouzot biographer Marc Godin
  • Interview with Yves Montand, on working with Clouzot, from 1988
  • Henri Georges Clouzot: An Enlightened Tyrant, a 2004 documentary on the director's career
  • Censored, an analysis, with clips, of cuts to the film made for the 1955 U.S. release

GreenCine Member Ratings

Wages of Fear (Criterion Collection) (Restored Edition - Bonus Disc) (1953)
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7.32 (19 votes)
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Wages of Fear (Criterion Collection) (Restored Edition) (1953)
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8.24 (49 votes)
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May the Road Trip Rise Up to Meet You
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A list of road trip movies!
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© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.