Henri-Georges Clouzot's groundbreaking thriller, in which four men with little to lose sign on to drive trucks loaded with delicate explosives through a mountain range riddled with potholes and dangerous turns, gets an upgraded DVD presentation in this release from The Criterion Collection. Le Salaire de la Peur (aka The Wages of Fear) has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the black-and-white images are rich and beautifully detailed throughout, looking as good as they did the day this picture was released in 1953. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and sounds nearly as good as the film looks; the dialogue is mostly in French and English, with optional and easy-to-read English subtitles included. The set's second disc features Henri-Georges Clouzot: The Enlightened Tyrant, a documentary produced for French television which looks at the life and career of the man who made this classic, including a number of exclusive interviews with his actors and collaborators. Also included are new interviews with Michel Romanoff, Clouzot's assistant director on the project, and Marc Godin, author of a biography of the filmmaker, while an excerpt from a 1988 television interview with Yves Montand features the French star talking about how working with Clouzot impacted his career. Finally, a bonus short looks at how the film was cut for its American premiere in 1955 (the original uncut European print appears on this DVD release), and a 24-page booklet includes an essay on The Wages of Fear from author Dennis Lehane as well as thoughts on Clouzot and the film from a number of people who worked with him. Criterion's upgraded edition of The Wages of Fear manages to improve on their excellent original release of the movie (long out of print), and is likely to remain the definitive home-video presentation of this landmark in French cinema.
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
New and improved English subtitle translation
New video interviews with assistant director Michel Romanoff and Henri-Georges Clouzot biographer Marc Godin
Interview with Yves Montand from 1988
"Henri-Georges Clouzot: The Enlightened Tyrant," a 2004 documentary on the director's career
"Censored," an analysis of cuts made to the film for the 1955 U.S. release
24-page booklet featuring novelist Dennis Lehane and a compilation of interviews with the cast and crew of the film