Criterion Year Week 57: The Wages of Fear

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

The Wages of Fear

Spine Number: 36

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Genre: Drama


Movies need to set and manipulate a certain mood in order to be effective. It is hard to do. Tension is one of the most difficult to really maintain. There are things that people can do that add tension in obvious ways, but those tend to leave you flat once they're done. Jump scares and "here comes the bad guy" music can only go so far.

With that in mind... damn! "The Wages of Fear," is tense as hell. Clouzot delivers one of the most incredible instances of building and maintaining tension throught. Its a simple story with complex detail. A group of people trapped in a remote part of Venezuela without the means to get home are offerd the opprotunity to make an incredible amount of money. All they have to do is transport two literal truckloads of nitro glycerine across an unpaved, remote and desolate road. 

That set up alone... damn!


This film is incredible. I mean... it takes an hour before they are even in the trucks! It's important that you see what life is in this small outpost. You understand the desperate circumstances that force people to do such... just insane things.

This was remade by William Friedkin in the 70's with the baffling title, "Sorcerer," which is actually a pretty damned good film. I recommend both very highly.

So, relax if you can and enjoy our thought after watching "The Wages of Fear."



Next week,  

 Spine number 600: Anatomy of a Murder

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Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

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It's fantasy football for movie people.

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Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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