Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Wages of Fear

In an unnamed South American country, a medley of outcasts await employment from the Southern Oil Company which afford them the money for a return ticket home. After an accident injures several union workers, four of the men (Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Folco Lulli, Peter van Eyck) are commissioned two drive two trucks stocked with nitroglycerin across a 300 mile stretch of rugged terrain, with a $2,000 check awaiting whoever survives the perilous journey. "The Wages of Fear" is a tension filled, nail biting film from Henri-Georges Clouzot who had been dubbed France's Hitchchock. After introducing its characters in a thorough manner rare to most action films, Clouzot begins the terrifying trek hardly letting the viewer a minute to the catch his breath. The actors are all fine, particularly Montand and Vanel whose characters reveal much about themselves in the throes of their treacherous situation. In addition to his nerve wracking treatment, Clouzot's handling of the story and its resolution can also be appreciated as well. "The Wages of Terror" is a phenomenal psychological thriller made by a master who knew how to milk every ounce of terror out of his deadly scenarios.