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Sorcerer (1977) (BD) [Blu-ray]

392 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The plot of William Friedkin's suspense thriller originated with the same Georges Arnaud novel that inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot's French suspense classic The Wages of Fear (1953). Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, and Amidou play four men who, for various reasons, cannot return to their own countries. They end up in a dismal South American town where an American oil company is seeking out courageous drivers willing to haul nitroglycerin over 200 miles of treacherous terrain. The four stateless men have nothing to lose -- and, besides, they'll be paid 10,000 dollars apiece, and be granted legal citizenship, if they survive. The suspense is almost unbearable at times, even outdistancing the tension level of The Wages of Fear in certain scenes. Unfortunately while this film should have been a blockbuster given Friedkin’s preceding films (French Connection & Exorcist) it’s ultimate BO success was hampered by being released one month after Star Wars.and arguably by it’s title. This is a fascinating movie with an even more fascinating back story.

Special Features

  • Newly remastered on Blu-ray under the supervision of William Friedkin
  • Blu-ray presented as a BD Book featuring 40 pages filled with beautiful images and excerpts from the book “The Friedkin Connection a Memoir”
  • Includes a new and personal forward written by Mr. Friedkin

Product Details

  • Actors: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2014
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00HT2RTU6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,242 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 85 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on December 15, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
William Friedkin (The French Connection) brings us exotic locations and gripping story in Sorcerer, a remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1953 thriller Wages of Fear.
The first hour of this movie seems to be comprised of random events involving four individuals that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. The only commonality is that they are all men of dubious character. Probably the most recognizable actor in this film is Roy Schieder, who plays a low level New York gangster participate in a robbery that goes bad, and forces him to flee the country due to the fact he managed to step on some pretty well connected toes. The second man, a French businessman, escapes from the threat of prosecution due to some shady business dealings. The third man, a Middle Eastern terrorist flees his captors after being caught participating in a bombing, and the fourth man is a shady assassin type apparently on the run from repercussion from his last hit.
The key is all four men end up in a South American rat-infested stink hole of a town called Vera Cruz. After awhile, they find their sanctuary has become more of a prison and all begin a desperate search for a way out, but that involves money, a commodity that's in short supply, with the only work available in the area is provided by an oil company that runs a well and is building a pipeline for the bubbling crude. Dangerous work, and the pay is so low that it would take years to earn enough to leave. Salvation for the men comes in a catastrophic disaster, an explosion damaging the well and causing the oil to burn.
The only way to close the well proper for repairs is to blow it up, and the only explosives available are 200 miles away.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase

William Friedkin's remake of "The Wages of Fear" brought a more contemporary, edgy slant to a classic French film. The scale is bigger but the plot remains the same; Roy Scheider plays Jackie Scanlan a member of a crew who accepts what appears to be a suicidal mission; transport nitroglycerin across the treacherous landscape of South America to put out a massive oil fire. All four members of the driving crew have shady pasts making this an ideal chance to escape from the events haunting them at home.

In my humble opinion, this is a five star movie and superior to the film that inspired Friedkin to make this.

The remastered, restored blu-ray release of this classic film looks terrific--colors pop and depth is exceptionally good even considering that this is on a single layer blu-ray disc.

The new remastered widescreen DVD uses the same new transfer supervised by the director.

The 5.1 HD master audio sounds marvelous adding to the suspense of a terrific film.

The blu-ray, beyond the booklet included as part of the package (this may receive a regular blu release later in a standard keep case as is often the case with these Warner book-style releases)is truly the only "extra" included here which is unfortunate--a commentary track by Friedkin would be welcome discussing the difficult making of the film. I'm not sure if a vintage featurette (these often appeared on TV to promote films)exists for the film or not but if it did it would be nice to include that as well.

Still, the booklet is very good with Friedkin discussing the making of the film and plenty of photos.
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95 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Gross on January 15, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Throughout the early seventies, William Friedkin was flying high in Hollywood, having won a Best Director Oscar for the huge hit, "The French Connection", and then making the terrifying and enormously successful "The Exorcist". Then, to the surprise (and disgust) of many critics, Friedkin had the hubris to announce a remake of a classic French film, “The Wages of Fear”. He had an enormous budget, the backing of two studios, and near complete creative control. Unfortunately, this film was an expensive flop when it was released in 1977. The fact that it came out the weekend before "Star Wars" was released was a large part of the reason why, perhaps. It was nearly universally (and somewhat gleefully) panned by critics, and quickly disappeared from theater screens. It was nearly forgotten about, except by a few fans (like me).

I saw this when it was released, and was absolutely riveted by it. The acting, direction, screenplay, editing, and sound were all incredible (with a stunning soundtrack by Tangerine Dream). The famous “Bridge” sequence is one of the most gut-wrenchingly suspenseful scenes you will ever see. The darkly existential ending is perfect. This will strike some as heresy, but not only is this film superior to the 1953 Clouzot original, it is one of the best films of the 1970s. Sadly, the only DVD release has been in the dreaded “pan and scan” 4:3 aspect ratio, which makes the film unbearable to watch. This edition is fully authorized by the Director, and will no doubt be a spectacular transfer.

The journey out of limbo this film has taken over the last five or so years, with frustrating legal issues and a major lawsuit by Friedkin, are well documented in “Wikipedia”.
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second best blu-ray news since Buffalo 66!
Agreed, been waiting so long, I cannot wait to see Mr. Friedkin's restoration! Day One!
Jan 12, 2014 by Paul E. Elverud |  See all 8 posts
I agree with you, John, about being keen to see this in widescreen. I never have.

I'm not going to knock the DVD, though. At least it existed. And at the time, it was (or so I've read) how Friedkin wanted the film to be seen. Still, I'm glad Blu-ray has given it a chance to be seen in its... Read More
Mar 14, 2014 by Mac Eachaidh |  See all 3 posts
Friedkin's talking crap again
I had read there would be a commentary on this. I purchased the disc without checking, just assuming it would have extras. Nope. Bare bones disc with a fancy booklet. I'm really disappointed.
Oct 24, 2014 by Squidley |  See all 2 posts
Review "Sorcerer" refused
they've had enough of your "reviews"
Aug 26, 2014 by grafdog |  See all 2 posts
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Sorcerer (1977) (BD) [Blu-ray]
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