The Wages of Fear (1953)/Sorcerer (1977)

The Wages of Fear, Henri-Georges Clouzot/Sorcerer, William Friedkin. A rare instance of both original and re-make being well worth their salt, and also a vivid essay in the difference between French and American cinema. No surprise WoF, filmed in luxuriant b&w with expansive performances, investigates existentialism, socialism, homosexuality. No surprise either that the American release of WoF was severely censored, so when Friedkin re-made it 24 years later, all the Frenchiness was drained out. In its place is a hard-boiled action thriller heavy on psychological drama and special effects, shot in a grainy Technicolor, with a superb international cast. Both feature outstanding acting by leads Yves Montand and Charles Vanel in WoF; Roy Scheider and Francisco Rabal in the re-do.

 

 

 

 

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