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Sorcerer [DVD] [1977] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: DVD-Video
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 078322947X
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,673 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sorcerer is directed by William Friedkin and adapted to the screen by Waldo Green from Georges Arnaud's novel Le Salaire de la peur (The Wages of Fear). It stars Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Raba and Amidou. Music is scored by Tangerine Dream and cinematography by John M. Stephens and Dick Bush.

It bombed famously at the cinema, was a location shoot nightmare with rows aplenty between cast and director, and even recently a court case erupted over the film as Friedkin sued Paramount and Universal over ownership of the picture. A film with such a mystical sounding title, could it be cursed? All the shenanigans surrounding Sorcerer have sort of had it hovering around the "forgotten" bin, where were it not for the Friedkin purists and 1970s movie aficionados it would have dropped in and had the lid put on it. However, if ever a movie from 1977 deserved to be revisited and treated better on home formats, then Sorcerer is the one. Where in its complete two hour form plays out as a lesson in skilled story formation, letting us know how these guys came to be in the situation they find themselves in, which in turn gives way to utter suspense as desperate men fight nature's jungle whilst perched on the precipice of explosive doom.

There are a number of factors put forward on why Sorcerer failed at the box office. The title itself is a classic case of misdirection, the name given to one of the trucks in the story, it conjured up images of mystical and magical dalliances, it's safe to say that the film is a million miles away from that sort of genre. It also went up against the box office monster that was Star Wars, in comparison, and Friedkin readily admits this, it's dwarfed in production scope and cross demographic appeal.
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Format: DVD
I agree with the first review - a fantastic movie from a Director who is either lauded or derided; some of his work must feature in most peoples 'best of' lists - French Connection, Exorcist etc but equally there is a cache of forgotten movies that cry out for attention - Live & Die in LA, Jade and of course Sorcerer.I doubt its even been on TV in the last 25 years!! Sad........ but true.
Release the Sorcerer on Region 2.
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Sadly underrated, why isn't this film available on Region 2?
Odious & unnecessary comparisons with Wages of Fear have led to this movie being shunted into a siding.
In fact it's very much a film of & about our time, as 4 men on the run from corruption, terrorism, the Mob & their past seek escape, money & perhaps redemption in a South American hell-hole.
Like an updated Treasure of the Sierra Madre it walks the existentialist backwaters of B Traven, with breath-taking action sequences as trucks loaded with nitro-glycerine attempt to cross flooded rivers(ripping away villages & trees) via ramshackle bridges. You really feel the actors are living through this, just as Coppola pushed his cast to the limit in Apocolypse Now or Fassbinder in Fitzcarraldo. No CGI here, only human suffering.
It speaks of the chaos of our times, of random terrorist violence, rival gangsterism, financial corruption, the rape of the landscape by big business. The extreme poverty of the exploited locals is graphically portrayed. This is no paradise peopled by noble savages.
As pollution & mining scar the landscape, this becomes like a like an action movie version of Powaqqatsi. Occasionally Friedkin(in as good a film as he's made)draws back(together with the camera) from the heat & sweat of the action & underlines its insignificance in the wider scheme of things. An explosion becomes a puff of smoke on the horizon.
The film stars Roy Scheider, one of the most interesting & undervalued Hollywood stars of the 70s. A strange mix of Kirk Douglas & Jean Paul Belmondo, he is the ideal anti-hero for this movie, combining a believable toughness with a realistic sense of human frailty & character defect.
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Format: DVD
William Friedkin was at the top of his form when he made this film, coming off the back of The French Connection and The Exorcist. As fine a film as those two, this suffered with poor marketing and having the misfortune to be released the week after Star Wars opened.

Gritty, ultra realistic, with scenes of third world poverty that make you squirm in your seat, and one of the most downbeat endings ever committed to celluloid, (and no princess in danger or light sabres to liven things up), Sorcerer bombed at the box office.

Undeservedly.

A fine, underrated film about four desperate men in a desperate situation willing to risk their lives for another shot at freedom, (and redemption), this is good old fashioned film making at its best, and Friedkin's most European film, with sequences of almost unbearable tension (in which the actors appear to be in actual danger), and an ending you will never forget.

Roy Scheider is at the top of his form, riding the wave of popularity from Jaws which would take him through to the mid 1980s before petering out.

That's the great shame about watching a film like this; remembering how good cinema was in the 70s, and how wretched it so quickly became from the 80s on.
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