The Wages of Fear [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1953]

  • SKU: 9661388
  • Release Date: 04/21/2009
  • Rating: NR
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Special Features

  • Restored high definition digital transfer with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Video interviews with assistant director Michel Romanoff and Clouzot biographer Marc Godin
  • Video 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 its 1955 U.S. release
  • Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by novelist Dennis Lehane


The Wages of Fear
Together with Diabolique, The Wages of Fear (Le Salaire de la Peur) earned Henri-Georges Clouzot the reputation as a "French Hitchcock." In truth, Clouzot's ability to sustain suspense may have even exceeded Hitchcock's; when originally released, Wages ran 155 tension-filled minutes. Based on the much-imitated novel by Georges Arnaud, the film is set in Central America. The Southern Oil Company, which pretty much rules the roost in the impoverished village of Las Piedras, sends out a call for long-distance truck drivers. Southern Oil's wages of 2,000 dollars per man are, literally, to die for -- the drivers are obliged to transport highly volatile nitroglycerine shipments across some of the most treacherous terrain on earth. Through expository dialogue, tense interactions and flashbacks, we become intimately acquainted with the four drivers who sign up for this death-defying mission: Corsican Yves Montand, Italian Folco Lulli, German Peter Van Eyck, and Frenchman Charles Vanel. The first half of the film slowly, methodically introduces the characters and their motivations. The second half -- the drive itself -- is a relentless, goosebump-inducing assault on the audience's senses. The winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Festival, The Wages of Fear was remade by William Friedkin as Sorcerer (1977). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Yves Montand
    Yves Montand - Mario
  • Charles Vanel
    Charles Vanel - Jo
  • Peter Van Eyck
    Peter Van Eyck - Bimba
  • Image coming soon
    William Tubbs - Bill O'Brien
  • Image coming soon
    Dario Moreno - Hernandez

Overall customer rating

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review

100%of customers would recommend this to a friend

Most helpful reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Edge of your seat suspense

    • My Best Buy® Member

    Slow-building story about a group of men hired to perform a suicidally dangerous task. Absolutely riveting storytelling -- one of the most incredible suspense films of all time.

    I would recommend this to a friend

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