Monday, November 4, 2013

Movie of the Week – The Wages of Fear

This week’s movie: The Wages of Fear (1953).

In a decrepit South American village, foreigners who came seeking riches find themselves stranded with no money, no prospects, and no way home. That is until they are offered a job. A company urgently needs a shipment of nitroglycerine to be transported across country to implode a burning oil well, but they do not have the proper safety equipment. Thus, this is a suicide job, but also maybe the only way any of these men will ever make enough money to get home.

The thriller is written and directed by French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot (who is also responsible for one of the great horror mysteries of all-time: Diabolique). He worked with composer Georges Auric, cinematographer Armand Thirard (a frequent collaborator), and art director Rene Renoux on the film.

The film features a great ensemble cast including: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Folco Lulli, Peter van Eyck, Vera Clouzot, and William Tubbs.

The Wages of Fear is one of cinema’s greatest thrillers (making my list of the Top 100 Films of the 20th Century). It is a nerve-racking experience that grips its viewer throughout. But also, it is a fantastic character drama, exploring the best and worst that man is capable of. It is a must-see for fans of classic cinema and brilliant thrillers.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

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