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The Wages of Fear (1953)

Le salaire de la peur (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Thriller | 16 February 1955 (USA)
In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Writers:

Georges Arnaud (novel), Henri-Georges Clouzot (adaptation) (as H.G. Clouzot) | 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #204 | Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Yves Montand ... Mario
Charles Vanel ... M. Jo
Folco Lulli Folco Lulli ... Luigi
Peter van Eyck ... Bimba (as Peter Van Eyck)
Véra Clouzot ... Linda (as Vera Clouzot)
William Tubbs William Tubbs ... Bill O'Brien
Darío Moreno ... Hernandez (as Dario Moreno)
Jo Dest Jo Dest ... Smerloff
Antonio Centa ... Camp Chief (as Centa)
Luis De Lima Luis De Lima ... Bernardo
Grégoire Gromoff Grégoire Gromoff
Joseph Palau-Fabre Joseph Palau-Fabre
Faustini Faustini
Seguna Seguna
Darling Légitimus Darling Légitimus ... (as Miss Darling)
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Storyline

In the South American jungle supplies of nitroglycerin are needed at a remote oil field. The oil company pays four men to deliver the supplies in two trucks. A tense rivalry develops between the two sets of drivers and on the rough remote roads the slightest jolt can result in death. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Pictured in Life Magazine as Picture of the Week (original USA/Canada posters) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | English | Spanish | German | Italian | Russian

Release Date:

16 February 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wages of Fear See more »

Filming Locations:

Poulx, Gard, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (director's cut) (2017 restoration)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A film of some historical significance as it was a foreign film which, without being dubbed, was widely released in Great Britain. In the early 50s, it was held that British audiences would not stand for a subtitled film, and foreign films rarely got beyond the big cities except through specialized outlets such as film societies. However, this film was a huge box-office hit, and led to a brief period when other subtitled films were given a general release in British cinemas. None did anything like as well at the box-office and the trend quickly petered out. It was pointed out that large sections of "The Wages Of Fear" contain no dialogue at all, and that many lines of dialogue are in English as there are several American characters - perhaps these may have been factors in the film's success. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, when Jo is leaning against Mario in the cab of the truck, the oil smear on Mario's right cheek changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Bill O'Brien: The Hell with the Union! There's plenty of tramps in town, all volunteers. I'm not worried. To get that bonus, they'll carry the entire charge on their backs.
Bradley: You mean you're gonna put those bums to work?
Bill O'Brien: Yes, Mr. Bradley, because those bums don't have any union, nor any families. And if they blow up, nobody'll come around bothering me for any contribution.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was cut for U.S. distribution in 1954, in part due to scenes that denounced crooked U.S. business interests in Latin America. The Criterion Collection laserdisc restored the film to its uncut version with 21 minutes of footage removed from other versions of the film. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Son of Rambow (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Valentine
Music by Henri Christiné
Whistled by Yves Montand and Charles Vanel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A brilliant thriller. One of the most suspenseful and exciting movies ever made!
3 February 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Clouzot rarely gets the attention he deserves. He made not one, but two of the greatest thrillers of all time, 'Les Diaboliques' and 'The Wages Of Fear', both perfect examples of how to make genuinely suspenseful movies that build up an amazing amount of tension. Most so-called thrillers made in Hollywood these days are thrillers in name only and could learn a lesson or two from these movie classics. 'The Wages Of Fear' could even be described as an action movie, but it is a CHARACTER DRIVEN action movie, and that's what makes it so special. Modern audiences with MTV attention spans might find the plot a little slow, but I think the first half of the movie, which deals with the motley collection of exiles in a poor Latin American town, is not only fascinating in itself, but really makes a massive impact on the second half. By taking his time introducing the characters and exploring their relationships and possible motivations, Clouzet adds depth and meaning to the rest of the exciting story, something very rarely achieved in this type of movie since. The cast, every single one of them, are flawless. The four leads, Mario, the fairly decent guy played by yves Montand, his new best friend the shifty M. Jo (Charles Vanel), his old pal the kind hearted Luigi (Folco Lulli), and the enigmatic Bimba (Peter van Eyck), are all brilliant. Great performances, taut and imaginative direction, crisp and impressive cinematography, and a handful of the most riveting sequences ever committed to film make 'Wages Of Fear' a truly unforgettable experience. Suspense movies don't come much better than this! Simply a masterpiece.


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