The Wages of Fear
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In a squalid South American oil town, four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route. As they ferry their explosive cargo to a faraway oil fire, each bump and jolt tests their courage, their friendship, and their nerves. The result is one of the greatest thrillers ever committed to celluloid, a white-knuckle ride from Frances legendary master of suspense, Henri-Georges Clouzot.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 39
- Fresh: 39
- Rotten: 0
- Average Rating: 8.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The excitement derives entirely from the awareness of nitroglycerine and the gingerly, breathless handling of it. You sit there waiting for the theatre to explode.
Fresh: A harrowing odyssey of four derelicts inching two trucks loaded with nitro-glycerine over a tortuous terrain puts this in the strong meat department with a downbeat theme of fear and its manifestations.
Fresh: An expertly directed, personally felt film.
Fresh: The film's extended suspense sequences deserve a place among the great stretches of cinema.
The first half of the film builds the characters. The clip here is extracted from that first half and gives little sense of the tension of the film. This is all in the last half where the four doomed characters carry unstable nitroglycerin across a terrifying jungle landscape in two separate trucks. This is the essence of suspense in Hitchcock's best sense: you know the bomb is there and you know it's going to go off. You just don't know when.
There is a Hollywood version called Sorcerer (a name on one of the trucks) which bombed at the box office because it came out the same week as Star Wars. This version is also incredibly good and may be more approachable for American viewers.
I had lost faith in Rotten Tomatoes many months ago and i haven't used their ratings to guide me since; and this 100% rating reminds me of why. I recently saw this film on Turner Classic Movies; and I was was surprised at how really bad it was. I had read the summary of what it was about and looked at the cast and thought "i should check this out", I was wrong. This is a really bad film; and in so many ways. Bad writing, silly premises, really bad acting. The idea is they need nitroglycerin several miles and through the mountains from where nitro is at the beginning of the movie. They have a series of preposterous misadventures and of course some of them don't make it. This movie is bad enough to be the back ground film for Mystery Science Theater 3000 so you could at least get some entertainment out of the two robots and the guy. Because this move on it's own isn't worth you time.
Make note of the critics who reviewed this film with these high ratings, and use that as a guide to who you shouldn't ever listen to again.
But you'll probably not listen to me and try this movie anyway; but remember I warned you.