- Actors: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli, Véra Clouzot
- Directors: Henri-Georges Clouzot
- Writers: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Georges Arnaud, Jérôme Géronimi
- Producers: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Raymond Borderie
- Format: PAL, Black & White
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Studiocanal
- DVD Release Date: 21 Jan. 2002
- Run Time: 147 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00005UDY1
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,167 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Wages Of Fear [DVD] 
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DVD Special Features:
Original Theatrical Trailer
Les Diaboliques Original Trailer
Cast and Crew Biographies
In 1953, before any American studio exec used the phrase "high concept", Henri-George Clouzot's The Wages of Fear boasted a premise so literally explosive that audiences were excited before they got into the theatres. With an oil-fire burning out of control deep in the South American jungle, two lorryloads of highly unstable nitro-glycerin have to be driven through miles of unstable terrain littered with dangerous turns, crumbling planks, falling rocks and mediocre hardtop. One good jolt will vaporise truck, nitro, drivers and a substantial swathe of the countryside, so the company recruits desperate souls among the loser tramps who loiter around the nowhere town of Las Piedras, begging for any kind of work.
On the road, Clouzot stages a string of unforgettable sequences: one stretch of badly paved track can only be crossed by driving at under six miles an hour or over 40; a mountain turn requires that the trucks back out onto a rickety, rotten wooden structure; a 50-ton boulder has fallen into the road, and one of the drivers calmly drains a litre of nitro into his thermos to blow it up, only remembering when the fuse is lit that this will rain pebbles all over the countryside and a few good hits on the cargo will set it off. This is perhaps as great a mix of action-adventure and contest as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and still a textbook example of sustained suspense.
On the DVD: The print is in great shape, though the image is a little soft; the menu has a clever explosive aspect and uses the same vintage artwork as the sleeve cannily combined with a snippet. There are trailers for both Wages and Clozuot's other masterpiece, Les Diaboliques, as well as biographies of the principal cast, eight stills and three posters.--Kim NewmanSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
The US issue is REGION-A LOCKED - so it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK Blu Ray players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.
Until such time as someone on this side of the water gives this 1955 Black and White nugget a REGION B and C release – check your BLU RAY player has the capacity to play REGION A – before you buy the pricey Criterion issue…
Then finally an opportunity arises that, under normal circumstances, any rational human being would walk away from. To drive a truck filled with Nitro Glycrine over the worst possible road conditions you can imagine.
Our protagonists are not rational and are so desperate to escape their hellish day to day existence, they compete with each other to win this opportunity of a grand pay day and begin a new life.
It is at this point Wages of Fear really changes and the tension of observing this journey can become unbearable at times.
The Director H G Clouzot succeeds admirably on both counts. Firstly letting us experience the boredom and desperation of their exile and secondly he puts us right there in the drivers cabin to experience every gear change and bump in the road.
Perhaps Cluozot succeeds too well in the first hour by providing viewers with an experience they'd rather not have. I imagine some viewers may get frustrated, bored and give up.
This is perhaps one of the many great suspense filled films ever made.
I really hope, one day soon, this will be released on Blu Ray for region B/2.
Las Piedras is a tiny South American (or possibly Central American) town that reeks of poverty and bakes in the hot sun. Children with sores, tired donkeys and mangy dogs fill the dirt streets. It's the final stop for down-and-outers whose only hope is to find work with the Southern Oil Company (you can infer SOC easily is a stand-in for Standard Oil), which dominates the place. "Americans here? You kidding?" says one man. "If there's oil around they're not far behind," says his companion. SOC has a headquarters office in Las Piedras; the oil field is 300 miles away. Into this fly-infested hole arrives Jo (Charles Vanel), a tough, middle-aged French gangster out of luck and out of cash. He encounters Mario (Yves Montand), a ne'er-do-well in his twenties from Corsica who's stuck in Las Piedras. Mario does odd jobs to make enough money for meals and whiskey, beds and takes for granted the young woman who works at the town's cantina, and longs to get out of the place and back to Paris. The two of them bond in a way, the confident tough guy and the young, not-quite-amoral thug-in-training. The shifting relationship between these two is what drives the story; that they can get blown sky high at any moment after the first hour is what keeps us watching.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sometime cited as the greatest suspense film of all time, this powerful, misanthropic movie does indeed have some nail-biting moments. Read morePublished 4 months ago by DG
The memory of seeing this film as a youth blots out most of its contents. Seeing it again in my early 60s I can understand why it is rated so highly. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jefroc
One of Cinema's most classic cult movies: an extreme adventure set in a dramatic and exotic place where humanity struggles against brutality, profitability and survivance. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Elleppi