Night Owl

The Wages Of Fear

Viewed: 24 April 2010
Directed by: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Listed in: Movies, Netflix

I am a gluten for tense, disturbing films. About an intense caravan of risk, fear and sudden death, The Wages of Fear is a masterpiece. It's shot in crisp black and white, in the overexposed heat of desert canyons, the claustrophobic forest roads, the hellish scene of a oil well on fire. Four men down and out in a South American backwater, take on a near suicidal job transporting two truckloads of nitroglycerin on barely passable roads. Their confidence drop with each kilometer, each death deifying situation they survive. Near the end they are all corpses. Oil slicked, shell-shocked shells, driving to collect their reward. The film only has two missteps, the opening act which establishes the situation, but seems as aimless the men's prospects. And the ending, which is uncharacteristically light and celebratory, for a while.

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