William Friedkin, fresh out of his back-to-back successes, viz. The French Connection and The Exorcist, nearly had his career destroyed by Sorcerer because of the large budget for its time and the unfortunate responses it elicited. Inspired from Clouzot’s Wages of Fear, it is a rarity in that, without going into comparisons with the classic French original (which was admittedly superior of the two), it was one of those rare American remakes that has managed to survive the test of time and stand on its own merit. Four men from different parts of the globe have taken refuge in a rundown, godforsaken South American town, in order to escape from their past crimes. However, they all long to leave the dreary place, and so, when presented with the opportunity by an oil company to earn good money if they drive a deadly cargo of nitroglycerine over 200 miles by two rickety trucks through some of the most treacherous terrains imaginable, they leap at it despite the incredible dangers the insanely arduous task is fraught with. Though the character arcs and dynamics weren’t as well portrayed as in the original, the hellish ride, along with the emotional toll that it takes on them, were nearly as well depicted. And since back-stories of the four disparate and desperate men were shown, their intents too were thoroughly understandable. Whatever the movie lacked in terms of the emotional coldness of the script, it made up through the nail-biting suspense, and the visceral, gritty, and grimy content courtesy the superb cinematography, set-pieces and pacing. The acting by the four leads, specifically Roy Scheider and Bruno Cremer, were also quite commendable.
Director: William Friedkin
Genre: Thriller/Psychological Thriller/Adventure Film