The Wages of Fear


Stuck in a squalid Latin American flea-pit, four desperate men – down and out Frenchman Yves Montand and Charles Vanel, Italian Folco Lulli, and German Peter Van Eyck – yearn for a ticket out, in between barroom brawls and dallying with the beautiful but vulnerable Vera Clouzot (wife of the director). But wait! There is a way out! The only trouble is, their escape route is a suicide mission in which they are hired to transport two heavy trucks packed with nitroglycerin up treacherous, switch-backed mountain roads to blow an oil rig fire at a U.S.-owned drilling site. As they ferry their explosive cargo to the faraway oil fire, each bump and jolt tests their courage, their friendship and their nerves. And the thrills – the pillar of foreboding smoke on the horizon, the oil slick obstacle course courtesy of a gushing broken pipe – just keep on coming in this existential, nerve-shredding suspense melodrama, with its ultimate talisman, a cherished Paris Metro ticket that offers four panicked men freedom from this hell on Earth.
The Wages of Fear is one of the greatest thrillers ever committed to celluloid, a white-knuckle ride from France’s legendary master of suspense Henri-Georges Clouzot (often referred to as the French Hitchcock), who later terrified the world with his classic 1955 horror film Diabolique. A worldwide smash hit, despite being shorn of 43 minutes for its original American release, this is the complete, uncut version of the film guaranteed to make you break out into a cold sweat … and love every minute of it. Remade in 1977 by director William Friedkin as Sorcerer.