Such uniquely crafted amalgam of squalid contexts and moral confusion, which as the four drivers' hellish ascent proceeds character values are tested, broken, and belatedly forged. It is not just the boldness of cinematography, the sweaty sensuality, the force of suspense that magnetizes but maybe all these combined to some superbly encoded icons and metonymies about the human condition. A stunning tour-de-force!
Though I rate it the same as "Sorcerer", it lacks the abject hopelessness and madness that makes the latter adaptation more solidly riveting from start to finish. Ending the film at the oil well fire would have been ideal, yet the peak of devastation is dissipated by the scenes that follow, even with the (frankly ludicrous) tragic ending (who drives like that?). Still, solid performances and stunning cinematography.
The first 5 or 10 minutes are great (like a long lost Sergio Leone in black&white) and have you hoping for a 5 star masterpiece, but the plot & dialogues are so full of improbabilities and absurdities that you get the impression the movie was written by a 10 year old boy.
This is how to make a slow-moving thriller about trailers going slowly over South American roads and any bump could trigger an explosion. A movie unafraid to establish characters, motivations and why someone can take on such a life-risking job. It is no wonder why it has been remade several times since.
I think the birth of Super Mario characters are from this film. Not only the spectacle of the plot, even the the two characters are named the same, Mario and Luige, except for Luige whose appeareance is very similar to Super Mario. This film has similar quality with Greed by Erich von Stroheim having crafted with blood and tear.
Playing like an early high concept action-thriller, this is an unevenly expansive affair - notably in the extraneous first thirty minutes of ‘character’ setting for what largely remain stock types throughout - it nevertheless has some tense ‘what would I do in that situation’ reactive action sequences. The latter spurs of fatalism surprise, albeit realised as moral retribution for such unbridled greed and machismo.
I ve watched this film's remake ''sorcerer'' before...Even remake contains some additions about zionism ,mafia works and each characters' past .Both films were great. But I think there is something missing in these films. I dont know why...some plans which are slowly rotation of wheels contain high tension.. This is the power of director and his story. I would like to see tremendous final because of his talent.
It takes far too long and that ending is fatalism at its most unnecessary. But Clouzot's toxic sense of character still stings. "Pure suspense" nothing—this is a bitter, textured fuck-you to the world of 1953. Its setting isn't South America so much as a post-WWII purgatory, as different languages/accents mingle in a corporate-controlled desert where everyone wants to escape. Key line: "What's beyond it?" "Nothing."
Holy shit this was a tense motherfucker. Clouzot's a genius and in this film he excels in pretty much every kind of filmmaking obstacles ever. It's powerful and nihilistic and so fucking humane. And I do disagree with people who didn't like the first 40 minutes or the last couple of minutes. From minute one this is a very unique masterpiece.
The Wages of Fear is great, but I guarantee that a majority of the world has never even heard of it. That's because of two reasons. The first reason; it's in black and white. The second reason; it's a foreign film. I hate that the general audience is scared off by black & white and foreign films. I wish people ventured outside their safe zone and watched brilliant films like this.
Very poor men take an extremely dangerous job - driving trucks full of nitroglycerin for 100s of miles - for a big pay day. For a movie mostly about slowly driving a truck for hours, the story is amazingly intense, and a great cast of characters ensures the trip is always lively. But one of the most ridiculously terrible endings I've ever seen drag an otherwise cool movie way, way down. I give it a C.