Sorcerer

USA 1977. Dir: William Friedkin. 122 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION!After conquering Hollywood with The French Connection and The Exorcist, William Friedkin ventured into a Latin American jungle to shoot an elaborate, ambitious remake of Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear. The jinxed production went wildly over budget, bombed at the box office, and helped capsize the director’s career. Neglected for years, Sorcerer has been restored and is being reassessed — as a formidable existential thriller; as one of Friedkin’s best films; and as a late masterwork of 1970s New Hollywood (an era of creative freedom obliterated by Star Wars, released around the same time). Roy Scheider stars in this slow-burning tale of four desperate men hired to drive two truckloads of unstable nitroglycerine over treacherous jungle terrain (including, memorably, a rickety suspension bridge over a raging river). Friedkin added extensive backstories that required location shooting around the world. The score is by Tangerine Dream.

 

REVIEWS

"As good as you’ve heard ... Sorcerer trumps today’s event filmmaking with every mud puddle and pit stain."

Village Voice | full review

"Perhaps the best remake of all time ... Released the same year as Star Wars, Friedkin's audacious masterpiece represents the braver road abandoned by the studio system."

Harvard Film Archive | full review

"A defiant, mad gesture of a film that features some of the most exhilarating sequences in movie history."

The Dissolve | full review