1953 ****1/2 148 mins.
Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear is one of the most tense films you're ever likely to watch. The first hour of the film drags just a tad, but once it gets into the main point of the story, the tension doesn't let up. The first hour sets the stage for the location, situation, and characters. There's nothing bad about it, it just seems to go on a bit too long. The ending also seems to be a bit abrupt, but I don't mind that at all. It works. A North American oil company hires four down-on-their-luck drivers to partake in a suicide mission: driving two trucks of explosives across the dangerous Central American terrain. The film may be two and a half hours, but you don't even notice the time ticking by. Beware of shortened versions of the film.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Adapted and Written by
H. G. Clouzot and Jerome Geronimi
After the Novel by