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also known as Le salaire de la peur

The Wages of Fear1953

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  • 4.5
In a squalid South American oil town, four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route. As they ferry their explosive cargo to a faraway oil fire, each bump and jolt tests their courage, their friendship, and their nerves. The result is one of the greatest thrillers ever committed to celluloid, a white-knuckle ride from France's legendary master of suspense, Henri-Georges Clouzot.

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5 members like this review

"The Wages of Fear" is the better mouse trap, a flawless adventure-thriller decades ahead of its time. Even today, few films can match the brutal fatalism of "The Wages of Fear." From the opening moments, amid the swelter of the jungle, Clouzot cooly grabs you by collar and holds a switchblade at your throat for the next 146 minutes. Very few films really deserve the honor of being called a masterpiece; "The Wages of Fear" is one of them.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (10)

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top reviewer

"The Wages of Fear" is the better mouse trap, a flawless adventure-thriller decades ahead of its time. Even today, few films can match the brutal fatalism of "The Wages of Fear." From the opening moments, amid the swelter of the jungle, Clouzot cooly grabs you by collar and holds a switchblade at your throat for the next 146 minutes. Very few films really deserve the honor of being called a masterpiece; "The Wages of Fear" is one of them.

5 members like this review
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top reviewer

Throughout "The Wages of Fear," Clouzot has the viewer on the edge of his seat, wondering if the next pratfall is what will finish the group of four drivers in two trucks of explosives going toward the oil fields. I could not help from thinking about a more dangerous version of "Ice Road Truckers" with more desperation and ingenuity. In the end, this masterful film is riveting and one of those long films that does not seem long at all. Very exciting.

2 members like this review

This film is like being held at gunpoint for over two hours. Never have I seen so much tension in one film. Every frame lingers on a knife's edge, and it never lets up. Such a cool premise. Four men take on a suicide mission, and each of them is inextricably tied to the other. Clouzot's nihilism is decimating throughout, and he never hesitates to take a swipe at the audience's expectations.

1 member likes this review

A true classic masterpiece. Four broke, down-on-their-luck with nothing to loose men, stuck in a shabby South American village, are hired to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerine hundreds of miles through rugged, treacherous terrain. The dangerous job beings out the men's true characters. To say more would spoil the film for those who have not seen it. I have watched this film multiple times over the years and have enjoyed the film every time! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! The director, Henri-Georges Clouzot's works are some of the few that the great director Alfred Hitchcock expressed any regard for.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

mostly silly _almost comedy Yves Montand is super cool_Charles Vanel is always a joke_Vera Clouzot is wonderful_the ending is just dumb

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top reviewer

My Grandfather used to tell me about one his best friends, a World War II combat veteran who survived D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, who was killed by a drunk driver less than a week after getting back to the States. And that is the ending of "The Wages of Fear." Clouzot and many of his his peers in French New Wave challenged the Hollywood conceit of "The Happy Ending." The reality of it is, no one is ever truly safe. The Grim Reaper is always one step behind all of us.

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top reviewer

Yves Montand is kind of a poseur but this film is great anyway.

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top reviewer

Poseur? Montand? His performance is one of the great elements of this film. His down-and-out Euro-Rogue captures the essence of Bogie without falling into parody or pastiche. It's as if Montand is laying down a beat for Belmondo and Delon to follow in the next decade.

It's lit!

A masterful acted and produced film that is timeless, it will stand amongst the legends of film!

One of the most phenomenal films I have ever seen. Absolutely riveting and masterfully done. I have watched this film numerous times, and it still blows my mind on repeated viewings.

a nihilistic snowball, no cgi here, all creative content.