Blu-ray reissue: Sorcerer ***

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on August 9, 2014)

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Sorcerer – Warner Bros. Blu-ray

The time is ripe for a re-appraisal of William Friedkin’s 1977 action-adventure, which was greeted with indifference by audiences and cold-shouldered by critics at the time. Maybe it was the incongruous title, which likely led many to assume it would be in the vein of his previous film (and huge box-office hit), The Exorcist. Then again, it was tough for any other film to garner attention in the immediate wake of Star Wars. At any rate, it’s an expertly directed, terrifically acted update of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic 1953 nail-biter, The Wages of Fear (I say “update” in deference to Friedkin, who bristles at the term “remake” in a “letter from the director” included with the new disc). Roy Scheider heads a superb international cast as a desperate American on the lam in South America, who signs up for a job transporting a truckload of nitroglycerin through rough terrain. Tangerine Dream provides the memorable soundtrack. No extras on Warner’s Blu-ray, but to finally see a restored, director-supervised transfer is a treat.

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